J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 8, 2018
Space weather effects on GNSS and their mitigation
|Number of page(s)||23|
|Published online||13 June 2018|
Tropospheric and ionospheric media calibrations based on global navigation satellite system observation data
Telespazio VEGA Deutschland GmbH c/o European Space Operations Centre (ESA/ESOC), Navigation Support Office,
2 DEIMOS Space c/o European Space Operations Centre (ESA/ESOC), Flight Dynamics, Robert-Bosch-Straße 5, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany
3 PosiTim UG c/o European Space Operations Centre (ESA/ESOC), Navigation Support Office, Robert-Bosch-Straße 5, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany
4 VisionSpace Technologies c/o European Space Operations Centre (ESA/ESOC), Navigation Support Office, Robert-Bosch-Straße 5, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany
5 European Space Operations Centre (ESA/ESOC), Navigation Support Office, Robert-Bosch-Straße 5, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany
6 European Space Operations Centre (ESA/ESOC), Flight Dynamics, Robert-Bosch-Straße 5, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany
* Corresponding author: Joachim.Feltens@esa.int
Accepted: 6 March 2018
Context: Calibration of radiometric tracking data for effects in the Earth atmosphere is a crucial element in the field of deep-space orbit determination (OD). The troposphere can induce propagation delays in the order of several meters, the ionosphere up to the meter level for X-band signals and up to tens of meters, in extreme cases, for L-band ones. The use of media calibrations based on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) measurement data can improve the accuracy of the radiometric observations modelling and, as a consequence, the quality of orbit determination solutions.
Aims: ESOC Flight Dynamics employs ranging, Doppler and delta-DOR (Delta-Differential One-Way Ranging) data for the orbit determination of interplanetary spacecraft. Currently, the media calibrations for troposphere and ionosphere are either computed based on empirical models or, under mission specific agreements, provided by external parties such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. In order to become independent from external models and sources, decision fell to establish a new in-house internal service to create these media calibrations based on GNSS measurements recorded at the ESA tracking sites and processed in-house by the ESOC Navigation Support Office with comparable accuracy and quality.
Methods: For its concept, the new service was designed to be as much as possible depending on own data and resources and as less as possible depending on external models and data. Dedicated robust and simple algorithms, well suited for operational use, were worked out for that task. This paper describes the approach built up to realize this new in-house internal media calibration service.
Results: Test results collected during three months of running the new media calibrations in quasi-operational mode indicate that GNSS-based tropospheric corrections can remove systematic signatures from the Doppler observations and biases from the range ones. For the ionosphere, a direct way of verification was not possible due to non-availability of independent third party data for comparison. Nevertheless, the tests for ionospheric corrections showed also slight improvements in the tracking data modelling, but not to an extent as seen for the tropospheric corrections.
Conclusions: The validation results confirmed that the new approach meets the requirements upon accuracy and operational use for the tropospheric part, while some improvement is still ongoing for the ionospheric one. Based on these test results, green light was given to put the new in-house service for media calibrations into full operational mode in April 2017.
Key words: Troposphere / ionosphere / media calibrations / fitting/interpolation techniques / vector methods / CSP-format / orbit determination / radiometric tracking
© J. Feltens et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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