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.



Conclusions and recommendations

GNSS, which were originally designed to provide positioning and timing services to users on the ground, are increasingly being utilized for on-board autonomous navigation in space. While use of GNSS in LEO has become routine, its use in higher orbits has historically posed unique and difficult challenges, including limited geometric visibility and reduced signal strength. Only recently have these been overcome by high-altitude users through weak-signal processing techniques and on-board estimation filters.


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