COMPASS: VLBI Beacons In Support of Lunar Science and Exploration [article]

T. M. Eubanks
2020 arXiv   pre-print
The large constellations of spacecraft planned for use in cislunar space (on the Lunar surface, in Lunar orbit, and in the vicinity of the Lunar Gateway) require new solutions for positioning, navigation and timing (PNT). Here, I describe COMPASS (Combined Observational Methods for Positional Awareness in the Solar System), a spacecraft navigation system to provide cost-effective techniques for the positioning of large numbers of spacecraft in cislunar space. COMPASS will use beacons that emit
more » ... oherent ultra-wideband signals designed to be interoperable with existing and future Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) networks. Using differential VLBI, COMPASS will provide rapid determination of the interferometric phase delay with picosecond level accuracy during routine VLBI observing sessions. Multi-baseline phase-referenced COMPASS-VLBI observations with simultaneous calibrator observations should thus enable sub-meter accuracy transverse positioning and meter level lunar orbit determination using with small femtospacecraft beacons and a few seconds of observation per position determination.
arXiv:2005.09642v1 fatcat:osiqgzbmjbaedel4vnmy66yw5e