Skip to main content
Log in

Orbit and clock analysis of Compass GEO and IGSO satellites

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Journal of Geodesy Aims and scope Submit manuscript


China is currently focussing on the establishment of its own global navigation satellite system called Compass or BeiDou. At present, the Compass constellation provides four usable satellites in geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) and five satellites in inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO). Based on a network of six Compass-capable receivers, orbit and clock parameters of these satellites were determined. The orbit consistency is on the 1–2 dm level for the IGSO satellites and on the several decimeter level for the GEO satellites. These values could be confirmed by an independent validation with satellite laser ranging. All Compass clocks show a similar performance but have a slightly lower stability compared to Galileo and the latest generation of GPS satellites. A Compass-only precise point positioning based on the products derived from the six-receiver network provides an accuracy of several centimeters compared to the GPS-only results.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Bar-Sever Y (1996) A new model for GPS yaw attitude. J Geod 70(1):714–723. doi:10.1007/BF00867149

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Becker M, Zeimetz P, Schönemann E (2010) Antenna chamber calibrations and antenna phase center variations for new and existing GNSS signals. In: IGS workshop 2010, 28 June–2 July 2010, Newcastle

  • Beutler G, Brockmann E, Gurtner W, Hugentobler U, Mervart L, Rothacher M, Verdun A (1994) Extended orbit modeling techniques at the CODE processing center of the international GPS service for geodynamics (IGS): theory and initial results. Man Geod 19:367–386

    Google Scholar 

  • Chen H, Huang Y, Chiang K, Yang M, Rau R (2009) The performance comparison between GPS and BeiDou-2/COMPASS: a perspective from Asia. J Chin Inst Eng 32(5):679–689

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • China Satellite Navigation Office (2011) BeiDou Navigation Satellite System signal. In: Space interface control document (test version). Technical report.

  • Dach R, Hugentobler U, Fridez P, Meindl M (eds) (2007) Bernese GPS Software Version 5.0. Astronomical Institute, University of Bern, Bern

  • Dach R, Brockmann E, Schaer S, Beutler G, Meindl M, Prange L, Bock H, Jäggi A, Ostini L (2009) GNSS processing at CODE: status report. J Geod 83(3–4):353–365. doi:10.1007/s00190-008-0281-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dow J, Neilan R, Rizos C (2009) The International GNSS Service in a changing landscape of Global Navigation Satellite Systems. J Geod 83(3–4):191–198. doi:10.1007/s00190-008-0300-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dragon in Space (2012). Accessed 04–09–2012

  • Flohrer T, Choc R, Bastida B (2011) Classification of geosynchronous objects. Issue 13. European Space Agency, Space Debris Office, GEN-DB-LOG-00074-OPS-GR

  • Gao GX, Chen A, Lo S, Lorenzo DD, Walter T, Enge P (2009) Compass-M1 broadcast codes in E2, E5b, and E6 frequency bands. IEEE J Sel Top Signal Process 3(4):599–612. doi:10.1109/JSTSP.2009.2025635

    Google Scholar 

  • Gao Z, Zhang H, Hu Z, Peng J (2012) Performance analysis of BeiDou Satellite Navigation System (4IGSO + 3GEO) in standard positioning and navigation. In: China satellite navigation conference (CSNC) 2012 proceedings. Lecture notes in electrical engineering, vol 159. Springer, pp 177–186. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-29187-6_17

  • Ge M, Zhang H, Jia X, Song S, Wickert J (2012) What is achievable with current COMPASS constellation? In: ION GNSS 2012

  • Gong H, Yang W, Wang Y, Zhu X, Wang F (2012) Comparison of short-term stability estimation methods of GNSS on-board clock. In: Sun J, Liu J, Yang Y, Fan S (eds) China satellite navigation conference (CSNC) 2012 proceedings. Lecture notes in electrical engineering, vol 160. Springer, pp 503–513. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-29175-3_46

  • Gurtner W, Estey L (2009) RINEX, the receiver independent exchange format, Version 3.01. Technical report.

  • Han C, Yang Y, Cai Z (2011) BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and its time scales. Metrologia 48(4):S213–S218. doi:10.1088/0026-1394/48/4/S13

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hauschild A, Steigenberger P (2012) Combined GPS and GALILEO real-time clock estimation with DLRs RETICLE system. In: ION GNSS 2012

  • Hauschild A, Montenbruck O, Sleewaegen J, Huisman L, Teunissen P (2012a) Characterization of Compass M-1 signals. GPS Sol 16(1):117–126. doi:10.1007/s10291-011-0210-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hauschild A, Montenbruck O, Steigenberger P (2012b) Short-term analysis of GNSS clocks. GPS Sol. doi:10.1007/s10291-012-0278-4

  • Jun X, Jingang W, Hong M (2012) Analysis of Beidou Navigation Satellites in-orbit state. In: China satellite navigation conference (CSNC) 2012 proceedings. Lecture notes in electrical engineering, vol 161. Springer, pp 111–122. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-29193-7_10

  • Lyard F, Lefevre F, Letellier T, Francis O (2006) Modelling the global ocean tides: modern insights from FES2004. Ocean Dyn 56(5–6):394–415. doi:10.1007/s10236-006-0086-x

    Google Scholar 

  • McCarthy DD, Petit G (2004) IERS conventions (2003) IERS technical note 32. Verlag des Bundesamtes für Kartographie und Geodäsie, Frankfurt am Main

  • Montenbruck O (2009) Orbital mechanics. In: Ley W, Wittmann K, Hallmann W (eds) Handbook of space technology. Wiley, West Sussex, UK, pp. 52–82. doi:10.1002/9780470742433

  • Montenbruck O, Hauschild A, Hessels U (2010) Characterization of GPS/GIOVE sensor stations in the CONGO network. GPS Sol 15(3):193–205. doi:10.1007/s10291-010-0182-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Montenbruck O, Hauschild A, Steigenberger P, Hugentobler U, Teunissen P, Nakamura S (2012) Initial assessment of the COMPASS/BeiDou-2 Regional Navigation Satellite System. GPS Sol. doi:10.1007/s10291-012-0272-x

  • Niell A (1996) Global mapping functions for the atmosphere delay at radio wavelengths. J Geophys Res 101(B2):3227–3246

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pearlman M, Degnan J, Bosworth J (2002) The International Laser Ranging Service. Adv Space Res 30(2):125–143. doi:10.1016/S0273-1177(02)00277-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Qian S, Jun Z, Yanbo Z (2012) China Compass PNT service architecture and outlook. In: ION ITM 2012, pp 848–854

  • Rebischung P, Griffiths J, Ray J, Schmid R, Collilieux X, Garayt B (2012) IGS08: the IGS realization of ITRF2008. GPS Sol 16(4): 483–494. doi:10.1007/s10291-011-0248-2

    Google Scholar 

  • Riley S (2012) Personal communication

  • Shi C, Zhao Q, Li M, Tang W, Hu Z, Lou Y, Zhang H, Niu X, Liu J (2012) Precise orbit determination of Beidou satellites with precise positioning. Sci China Earth Sci 55(7):1079–1086. doi:10.1007/s11430-012-4446-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shi C, Zhao Q, Hu Z, Liu J (2013) Precise relative positioning using real tracking data from COMPASS GEO and IGSO satellites. GPS Sol 17(1):103–119. doi:10.1007/s10291-012-0264-x

  • Soop E (1994) Handbook of geostationary orbits. Kluwer, Dordrecht. ISBN: 0-7923-3054-4

  • Steigenberger P, Hugentobler U, Montenbruck O, Hauschild A (2011) Precise orbit determination of GIOVE-B based on the CONGO network. J Geod 85(6):357–365. doi:10.1007/s00190-011-0443-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Steigenberger P, Hauschild A, Montenbruck O, Rodriguez-Solano C, Hugentobler U (2012) Orbit and clock determination of QZS-1 based on the CONGO network. In: ION ITM 2012, pp 1265–1274

  • Svehla D, Heinze M, Rothacher M, Steigenberger P, Dähnn M, Kirchner M (2008) Combined processing of GIOVE-A and GPS measurements using zero- and double-differences. Geophysical Research Abstracts 10, sRef-ID: 1607–7962/gra/EGU2008-A-11383

    Google Scholar 

  • Urschl C, Gurtner W, Hugentobler U, Schaer S, Beutler G (2005) Validation of GNSS orbits using SLR observations. Adv Space Res 36(3):412–417. doi:10.1016/j.asr.2005.03.021

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weber R (2012) IGS GNSS Working Group. In: Meindl M, Dach R, Jean Y (eds) International GNSS Service technical report 2011. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, pp 159–163

  • Weiguang G (2011a) ILRS SLR mission support request for Compass-G1.

  • Weiguang G (2011b) ILRS SLR mission support request for Compass-I3.

  • Withers DJ (1999) Radio spectrum management. Institution of Engineering and Technology

  • Wu JT, Wu SC, Hajj GA, Bertiger WI, Lichten SM (1993) Effects of antenna orientation on GPS carrier phase. Manuscr Geod 18:91–98

    Google Scholar 

Download references


We would like to thank the station operators Shinichi Nakamura (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Noor Raziq (Curtin University, Australia), and Renat Zagretdinov (Kazan Federal University, Russia) for their support. The efforts of the IGS M-GEX campaign (Weber 2012) in providing multi-GNSS data are acknowledged. CHN0 tracking data were kindly provided by Trimble.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to P. Steigenberger.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Steigenberger, P., Hugentobler, U., Hauschild, A. et al. Orbit and clock analysis of Compass GEO and IGSO satellites. J Geod 87, 515–525 (2013).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: