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Engineering >> 2020, Volume 6, Issue 8 doi: 10.1016/j.eng.2019.09.001

Precise Orbit Determination for the FY-3C Satellite Using Onboard BDS and GPS Observations from 2013, 2015, and 2017

a School of Geodesy and Geomatics, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
b German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Potsdam 14473, Germany
c National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
d Beijing Key Laboratory of Space Environment Exploration, Beijing 100190, China

Received:2018-07-26 Revised:2018-11-13 Accepted: 2019-03-25 Available online:2019-09-05

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Abstract

Using the FengYun-3C (FY-3C) onboard BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) data from 2013 to 2017, this study investigates the performance and contribution of BDS to precise orbit determination (POD) for a low-Earth orbit (LEO). The overlap comparison result indicates that code bias correction of BDS can improve the POD accuracy by 12.4%. The multi-year averaged one-dimensional (1D) root mean square (RMS) of the overlapping orbit differences (OODs) for the GPS-only solution is 2.0, 1.7, and 1.5 cm, respectively, during the 2013, 2015, and 2017 periods. The 1D RMS for the BDS-only solution is 150.9, 115.0, and 47.4 cm, respectively, during the 2013, 2015, and 2017 periods, which is much worse than the GPS-only solution due to the regional system of BDS and the few BDS channels of the FY-3C receiver. For the BDS and GPS combined solution (also known as the GC combined solution), the averaged 1D RMS is 2.5, 2.3, and 1.6 cm, respectively, in 2013, 2015, and 2017, while the GC combined POD presents a significant accuracy improvement after the exclusion of geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) satellites. The main reason for the improvement seen after this exclusion is the unfavorable satellite tracking geometry and poor orbit accuracy of GEO satellites. The accuracy of BDS-only and GC combined solutions have gradually improved from 2013 to 2017, thanks to improvements in the accuracy of International GNSS Service (IGS) orbit and clock products in recent years, especially the availability of a high-frequency satellite clock product (30 s sampling interval) since 2015. Moreover, the GC POD (without GEO) was able to achieve slightly better accuracy than the GPS-only POD in 2017, indicating that the fusion of BDS and GPS observations can improve the accuracy of LEO POD. GC combined POD can significantly improve the reliability of LEO POD, simply due to system redundancy. An increased contribution of BDS to LEO POD can be expected with the launch of more BDS satellites and with further improvements in the accuracy of BDS satellite products in the near future.

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