Indexed on: 17 Jan '21Published on: 17 Jan '21Published in: Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Due to the low signal power, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signal is vulnerable to interference and even cannot be captured or tracked in harsh environments. As an alternative, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite has been widely used in the navigation field due to the advantages of low cost and strong signals. It is becoming a significant component of the new combined navigation system with GNSS. The combination of an LEO Doppler signal and GNSS observables can improve the positioning accuracy and high-precision positioning convergence time of the GNSS receiver. However, the GNSS signal receiving capability cannot be improved from this data fusion level. We propose a novel assisted structure where GNSS signal acquisition and Doppler tracking are assisted by LEO Doppler positioning. The receiver uses the LEO signal to achieve Doppler positioning firstly. Then, the coarse position with the GNSS navigation messages received from LEO, as well as the estimated clock information, is used to assist in the acquisition and tracking of GNSS. In this way, the GNSS receiver's sensitivity can get the benefit from this integrated system. The paper presents the structure of the assisted receiver and analyzes the assisted GNSS signal acquisition and carrier tracking performance in detail. Simulation experiments of this assisted structure are carried out to verify its superiority of acquisition and tracking sensitivity in comparison with standalone GNSS receivers. Theoretical analysis and experimental results show that the proposed acquisition method can achieve 90% detection probability at a carrier-to-noise ratio (C/N) of 15 dB-Hz, which is about 8 dB higher than the conventional acquisition method without assistance; the proposed tracking method can track weak signals of dB-Hz, which is about 4 dB higher than the conventional method. Therefore, this novel LEO-assisted receiver has significantly improved weak signal acquisition and tracking sensitivity.