The Interoperable Global Navigation Satellite Systems Space Service Volume

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The availability and performance of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) signals at high altitude is documented as the GNSS Space Service Volume (SSV). While different definitions of the SSV exist and may continue to exist for the different service providers, within the context of this booklet it is defined as the region of space between 3,000 km and 36,000 km above the Earth’s surface, which is the geostationary altitude. For space users located at low altitudes (below 3,000 km), the GNSS signal reception is similar to that for terrestrial users and can be conservatively derived from the results presented for the lower SSV in this booklet.



Benefits to users

The number and scope of GNSS-based space applications has grown significantly the since the first GNSS space receiver was flown. The vast majority of space users are operating in low Earth orbit (LEO), where use of GNSS receivers has become routine. For spacecraft in the SSV, however, the first demonstrated uses came in the late 1990s. Use of GNSS receivers aboard high-altitude spacecraft remains limited due to the challenges involved, including much weaker signals, reduced geometric diversity, and limited signal availability. By focusing on interoperability, the multi-GNSS SSV will provide numerous benefits, expanding the opportunity for full exploitation of the existing potential.


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