Vol 12, No 2

Polynomial regression calculation of the Earth’s position based on millisecond pulsar timing

Feng Tian, Zheng-Hong Tang, Qing-Zeng Yan, Yong Yu


Abstract Prior to achieving high precision navigation of a spacecraft using X-ray observations, a pulsar rotation model must be built and analysis of the precise position of the Earth should be performed using ground pulsar timing observations. We can simulate time-of-arrival ground observation data close to actual observed values before using pulsar timing observation data. Considering the correlation between the Earth’s position and its short arc section of an orbit, we use polynomial regression to build the correlation. Regression coefficients can be calculated using the least square method, and a coordinate component series can also be obtained; that is, we can calculate Earth’s position in the Barycentric Celestial Reference System according to pulse arrival time data and a precise pulsar rotation model. In order to set appropriate parameters before the actual timing observations for Earth positioning, we can calculate the influence of the spatial distribution of pulsars on errors in the positioning result and the influence of error source variation on positioning by simulation. It is significant that the threshold values of the observation and systematic errors can be established before an actual observation occurs; namely, we can determine the observation mode with small errors and reject the observed data with big errors, thus improving the positioning result.


Keywords autonomous positioning — millisecond pulsar — pulsar timing — regression analysis

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