, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 317-338

A precise multipass method for satellite Doppler positioning

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A precise and efficient algorithm is developed for determining the locations of radio beacons (e.g. of the ARGOS or COSPAS/SARSAT type) based on Doppler shift measurements in overflying satellites. The method distinguishes itself through: (1) the use of a very compact analytic orbital theory valid for all eccentricities, (2) autonomous orbit improvement based on Doppler data for one or more local reference beacons accessible at a single LUT, (3) simultaneous orbit improvement and calculation of beacon coordinates for an arbitrary number of satellites, satellite passes, and beacons, and (4) very efficient semi-analytic matrix inversion by partitioning into global, semi-global, and local parameters.

The algorithm has been implemented in a FORTRAN program which can be run on a PC. Error statistics are presented from applications of the program to a large number of actual Doppler curves obtained with the ARGOS and COSPAS/SARSAT systems.