Evaluation of Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) Networks Performance for Launcher Vehicles and Spacecraft Tracking

Paolo Marzioli, Fabio Santoni, Fabrizio Piergentili
2020 Aerospace (Basel)  
Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) networks could support spacecraft orbit determination or near-space (launcher and suborbital) vehicle tracking for an increased number of satellite launches and space missions in the near future. The evaluation of the geometry of TDOA networks could involve the dilution of precision (DOP), but this parameter is related to a single position of the target, while the positioning accuracy of the network with targets in the whole celestial vault should be evaluated.
more » ... hould be evaluated. The paper presents the derivation of the MDOP (minimum dilution of precision), a parameter that can be used for evaluating the performance of TDOA networks for spacecraft tracking and orbit determination. The MDOP trend with respect to distance, number of stations and target altitude is reported in the paper, as well as examples of applications for network performance evaluation or time precision requirement definitions. The results show how an increase in the baseline enables the inclusion of more impactive improvements on the MDOP and the mean error than an increase in the number of stations. The target altitude is demonstrated as noninfluential for the MDOP trend, making the networks uniformly applicable to lower altitude (launchers and suborbital vehicles) and higher altitude (Low and Medium Earth Orbits satellites) spacecraft.
doi:10.3390/aerospace7100151 fatcat:lvg4yfiakjcozfsque2shkni54