4 August 2009 The use of x-ray pulsar-based navigation method for interplanetary flight
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Abstract
As interplanetary missions are increasingly complex, the existing unique mature interplanetary navigation method mainly based on radiometric tracking techniques of Deep Space Network can not meet the rising demands of autonomous real-time navigation. This paper studied the applications for interplanetary flights of a new navigation technology under rapid development-the X-ray pulsar-based navigation for spacecraft (XPNAV), and valued its performance with a computer simulation. The XPNAV is an excellent autonomous real-time navigation method, and can provide comprehensive navigation information, including position, velocity, attitude, attitude rate and time. In the paper the fundamental principles and time transformation of the XPNAV were analyzed, and then the Delta-correction XPNAV blending the vehicles' trajectory dynamics with the pulse time-of-arrival differences at nominal and estimated spacecraft locations within an Unscented Kalman Filter (UKF) was discussed with a background mission of Mars Pathfinder during the heliocentric transferring orbit. The XPNAV has an intractable problem of integer pulse phase cycle ambiguities similar to the GPS carrier phase navigation. This article innovatively proposed the non-ambiguity assumption approach based on an analysis of the search space array method to resolve pulse phase cycle ambiguities between the nominal position and estimated position of the spacecraft. The simulation results show that the search space array method are computationally intensive and require long processing time when the position errors are large, and the non-ambiguity assumption method can solve ambiguity problem quickly and reliably. It is deemed that autonomous real-time integrated navigation system of the XPNAV blending with DSN, celestial navigation, inertial navigation and so on will be the development direction of interplanetary flight navigation system in the future.
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Bo Yang, Bo Yang, Xingcan Guo, Xingcan Guo, Yong Yang, Yong Yang, "The use of x-ray pulsar-based navigation method for interplanetary flight", Proc. SPIE 7385, International Symposium on Photoelectronic Detection and Imaging 2009: Terahertz and High Energy Radiation Detection Technologies and Applications, 73850X (4 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.835493; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.835493
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