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 Global position constellation

Global Position System (GPS)

Satellite-based radio navigation system, initially developed in the early 1960s and operated
by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) since then. However, subsequent to a 1966
Presidential Decision Directive which was later passed into law, the "ownership" from
DOD was transferred to an Interagency GPS Executive Board (IGEB), co-chaired by senior
officials of the Departments of Transportation and Defense to provide management
oversight and to assure that GPS meets both civil and military user requirements.

The space segment is composed of 24 satellites (this constellation is called NAVSTAR)

with a useful life of approximately 7.5 years, arranged in 6 orbits of four satellites each at
an altitude of 20,200Km, such orbits are nearly circular and equally spaced about the
equator at a 60-degree separation with an inclination of 55 degrees relative to the equator.
users with a clear view of the sky have a minimum of four satellites in view.

At the heart of the Ground Control Network is the Master Control Station (MCS) located at
the Schriever (formerly named Falcon) Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, Colorado .
The MCS operates the system and provides command and control functions for the satellite

The satellites in orbit are continuously tracked from six USAF monitor stations spread
around the globe in longitude: Ascension Island , Diego Garcia, Kwajalein , Hawaii , Cape
Canaveral and Colorado Springs . The monitor stations form the data collection component
of the control network. A monitor station continuously makes pseudorange measurements
to each satellite in view. There are two cesium clocks referenced to GPS system time in
each monitor station. Pseudorange measurements made to each satellite in view by the
monitor station receiver are used to update the master control station's precise estimate of
each satellite's position in orbit.
GPS provides two levels of service; a Standard Positioning Service (SPS) for general civil
use; and a Precise Positioning Service (PPS) primarily intended for use by the Department
of Defense and U.S. allies.

There are no restrictions on SPS usage and is available to users worldwide. But these
signals are affected to deteriorate his accuracy, it is called Selected Availability (SA). UTC
(USNO) time dissemination accuracy is within 340 nanoseconds (95%) referenced to the
time kept at the U.S. Naval Observatory. It means that the precision without the SA effects
would be large better, in the order of 30 meters. PPS provides UTC (USNO) time transfer
accuracy within 200 nanoseconds (95%) referenced to the time kept at the U.S. Naval

The accuracies of all differents kinds of service are shown in the following table:

Accuracy (95%) SPS(SA) SPS PPS

Horizontal (m) 100 25 22
Vertical (m) 156 43 27.7

At this time GPS doesn´t offer a signal of integrity and is the main reason why is not used
for air navigation.

U. S. Government is preparing the next generation of GPS (GPS III) broadcasting a new
frequency and developing a modern satellite. The activities to enhance the GPS
performance are:

 New civil frequencies at L2 (1227.6 MHz) and at L5 (1176.45 MHz), as well as

retention of the long-standing civil signal at L1 (1575.42 MHz). It allows to civil
users to correct ionospheric deviation.

 New signal structures for both civil and military users. The new civil signals at L5
are projected to support a code rate 10 times that of the C/A-code. This will improve
code measurement accuracy, reduce code noise, reduce cross-correlation concerns,
and provide improved multipath mitigation.

 Removal of Selective Availability, This, with the additional civil frequencies (for
ionospheric correction), will improve civil GPS performance by a factor of about
ten (compared to that with SA).

 Reduction in Systematic Error Sources includes not only SA removal and

ionospheric error correction, but substantial improvements in GPS receivers, in the
control segment redundancy (with the added NIMA monitor stations), and improved
statistical estimation techniques providing substantially better capabilities for
minimizing spacecraft position prediction (ephemeris) errors.

 Increased Signal Availability and Power from GPS Spacecraft which have greater
reliability and lifetimes.


The Russian Federation has implemented the GLONASS, its concept quite similar
to the GPS with different signal processing techniques. It provides for space signals
to be sent to properly equipped users for precision determination of position, speed
and time.

Fully deployed GLONASS Constellation is composed of 24 satellites, with an

operational life of 3 years (5 years improved version GLONASS-M), in three orbital
planes whose acsending nodes ares 120 degrees apart. 8 satellites are equally spaced
in each plane with argument of latitude displacement of 45 degrees. Besides the
planes themselves have 15 degrees argument of latitude displacement. The each
GLONASS satellite operates in circular 19100 km orbits at an inclination angle of
64.8 degrees and each satellite completes an orbit in approximately 11 hours 15
minutes. The spacing of satellites in orbits is arranged so that a minimum of 5
satellites are in view to users world-wide, with adequate geometry

The GLONASS system has two types of navigation signal: standard precision
navigation signal (SP) and high precision navigation signal (HP). SP positioning
and timing services are available to all GLONASS civil users on a continuous,
worldwide basis and provide the capability to obtain horizontal positioning accuracy
within 57-70 meters (99.7% probability), vertical positioning accuracy within 70
meters (99.7% probability), velocity vector components measuring accuracy within
15 cm/s (99.7% probability) and timing accuracy within 1 mks (99.7% probability).

The GLONASS Constellation is operated by Ground-based Control Complex

(GCS). It consists the System Control Center (Krasnoznamensk, Moscow region)
and a several Command Tracking Stations (CTS) are placed over a wide area of
Russia. The CTSs track the GLONASS satellites in view and accumulate ranging
data and telemetry from the satellites signals. The information from CTSs is
processed at the SCC to determine satellite clock and orbit states and to update the
navigation message of each satellite. This updated information is transmitted to the
satellites via the CTSs, which also used for transmitting of control information. The
CTSs ranging data is periodically calibrated using a laser ranging devices at the
Quantum Optical Tracking Stations which are within GCS. Each GLONASS
satellite specially carries laser reflectors for this purpose. The synchronization of all
the processes in the GLONASS system is very important for its proper operability.
There is the Central Synchronizer within GCS to meet this requirement. The Central
Synchronizer is high-precise hydrogen atomic clock which forms the GLONASS
system time scale. The onboard time scales ( on a basis of satellite cesium atomic
clocks) of all the GLONASS satellites are synchronized with the State Etalon
UTC(CIS) in Mendeleevo, Moscow region, through the GLONASS System Time

 Galileo

In 1998 , ESA and the European Union jointly decided to study the feasibility of a
truly inependent European GNSS. Named Galileo, the programme was first
approved in 1999. Besides being independent, Galileo is planned to offer greater
accuracy, integrity, availability and continuity of services compared with present
systems. In spite of the dual-use nature of any GNSS system, Galileo is intended to
be for civilian application only. It is labelled as a “civil programme under civil

The fully deployed Galileo system consists of 30 satellites (27 operational + 3

active spares), positioned in three circular Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) planes in
23616 km altitude above the Earth, and at an inclination of the orbital planes of 56
degrees with reference to the equatorial plane. With a satellite orbit time of 14
hours, the configuration of the constellation will guarantee at least six in-sight
satellites at any given time for any location. Once this is achieved, the Galileo
navigation signals will provide a good coverage even at latitudes up to 75 degrees
north, which corresponds to the North Cape, and beyond. The large number of
satellites together with the optimisation of the constellation, and the availability of
the three active spare satellites, will ensure that the loss of one satellite has no
discernible effect on the user. This system will be perfectly compatible with the
existing global position system nowadays, so together will be able to improve the
accuracy such system.

The Galileo spacecraft will have an expected lifespan of 10 years. Each one will be
replaced on a regular basis to account for eventual malfunctioning, residual life, and
accommodation of future payload technology.

The position accuracy depends on the accuracy of the time measurement. Only
atomic clocks provide the required accuracy, of the order of nanoseconds (10-9 s),
and the necessary stability, of the order of 10 nanoseconds per day for Rubidium
Atomic frequency standard and 1 nanosecond per day for hydrogen-maser atomic
clocks. Such

clocks are a major technology element aboard the Galileo satellites and contribute to
the definition of international time standards. The time measurement is improved by
including the signal from a fourth satellite, so special care is being taken in selecting

the numbers of satellites and their orbits.

It will be set a ground net to assist all the time the satellite constellation. It will be
managed by two Control Centres placed in Europe, supported by twenty Galileo
sensor stations (GSS). All data exchanges between the Control Centres will be done
through specific up-link stations. A total of 15 uplink stations will be installed
around the world to facilitate this type of data transfer. As the principal component
of the ground segment, the Control Centres will be in charge of the management of
the satellites, the integrity of the signals (very important charateristic for the
implementation in air navigation), and the synchronisation of the atomic clocks
onboard the satellites.

A key asset of GALILEO will be its above-mentioned ability to offer the integrity
required for the provision of service guarantees and for the support of safety-of-life
applications. It is planned to provide integrity by broadcasting integrity alerts to the
users. These alerts will indicate when the GALILEO signals are outside
specification. The user receiver can then reject signals from satellites to which an
alert refers or, using the outputs of the receiver signal processing in conjunction
with other receiver techniques, such as RAIM (Receiver Autonomous Integrity
Monitoring), reduce the influence that these signals have on the final computed
position.Three differents types of service will be offered. In the following table it is
showed the features of each one of them and their different kynds of transport
This infraestructure has been designed to obtain a high level of features so can be
used even for approaching of CAT-1 without any kind of GBAS (Ground
Augmentation System). Galileo will offer differents sort of services with the
characteristics showed below, in the following table:
The “Safety of life” requirement, applicable with good visibility of the sky as seen
by ships at sea or aircraft in flight, is aimed primarily at safety-of-life applications.4
metres is the vertical accuracy requirement for civil aviation CAT-I precision
approach and landing.

A wide range of data message rates, from 250 bit/s to 1500 bit/s, is being
considered.Low data rates cause minimum disturbance to the navigation signal.
High data rates maximise the potential for adding ancillary messages and this
feature is fundamental for the implementation of GALILEO in the area of the air
navigation. For which a wide range of applications can be imagined, as shown the
next table:

Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) are networks of ground relay

stations and geostatic satellites designed to receive satellite navigation signals and
transmit corrected time and distance measurements that greatly improve accuracy.
Observation and relay stations have been set at known positions all over the world,
while their geostatic satellites continuously maintain a fixed position above the
Earth. Using these known values for distance, SBAS corrects satellite navigation
signals for atmospheric delays, incorrect satellite positioning and poor geometry,
sometimes caused by inline or close alignment of satellites, increasing accuracy in
specific regions. SBAS is vital to providing the reliability and precision required by
aviation. Using the same signal frequencies as satellite navigation, SBAS-enabled
receivers are inter-compatible. Three augmentation systems are currently in varying
stages of operation and development covering North America, Europe and Asia.
These systems are called WAAS, EGNOS and MSAS and are managed by the
government of U.S.A., European Union and Japan. More recently the goverments of
Canada, Republic of China and India have announced the creation of their own sbas
systems; CWAS, SNAS and GAGAN respectively. In the following picture is
showed the areas under their range.

Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) consists of approximately 25 ground

reference stations positioned across the United States that monitor GPS satellite
data. Two master stations, located on either coast, collect data from the reference
stations and create a GPS correction message. This correction accounts for GPS
satellite orbit and clock drift plus signal delays caused by the atmosphere and
ionosphere. The corrected differential message is then broadcast through one of two
geostationary satellites, or satellites with a fixed position over the equator. The
information is compatible with the basic GPS signal structure, which means any
WAAS-enabled GPS receiver can read the signal.

Specified performance for WAAS