Abstract The Chinese Area Positioning System (CAPS), a navigation system based on geostationary orbit (GEO) communication satellites, was developed in 2002 by astronomers at Chinese Academy of Sciences. Extensive positioning experiments of CAPS have been performed since 2005. On the basis of CAPS, this paper studies the principle of a navigation constellation composed of slightly inclined geostationary orbit (SIGSO) communication satellites. SIGSO satellites are derived from GEO satellites which are near the end of their operational life and operating in inclined orbits. Considering the abundant frequency resources of SIGSO satellites, multi-frequency observations could be conducted to enhance the precision of pseudorange measurements and ameliorate the positioning performance. A constellation composed of two GEO satellites and four SIGSO satellites with an inclination of 5◦ can provide service to most of the territory of China with a maximum position dilution of precision over 24 h of less than 42. With synthetic utilization of the truncated precise code and a physical augmentation factor in four frequencies, the navigation system with this constellation is expected to obtain comparable positioning performance to that of the coarse acquisition code of the Global Positioning System (GPS). When the new method of code-carrier phase combinations is adopted, the system has the potential to possess commensurate accuracy with the precise code in GPS. Additionally, the copious frequency resources can also be used to develop new anti-interference techniques and integrate navigation and communication.
Keywords astrometry and celestial mechanics — astronomy application — artificial satellite — satellite navigation constellation
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