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A GNSS receiver for small-sats enabling precision POD, radio occultations, and reflections
Author(s): Garth Franklin; Stephan Esterhuizen; Chad Galley; Byron Iijima; Kameron Larsen; Myron Lee; Jehhal Liu; Thomas Meehan; Larry Young
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Paper Abstract

A low cost, low power, and low mass GNSS receiver (called Cion) has been developed and is currently flying on the CICERO cubesats. The receiver was designed in less than a year by JPL for Tyvak and GeoOptics for use in the GeoOptics CICERO constellation and leverages 25 years of JPL GNSS receiver design experience. Cion uses a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer along with existing space qualified RF down-converters, software, and firmware to produce atmospheric Radio Occultation (RO) data. By combining a FPGA with dual core ARM processor and an embedded system controller, the Xilinx Zynq processor is an enabling technology that provides a customizable digital signal processing platform integrated into the computer (System on a chip) and enables off-the-shelf hardware to become the main engine behind this software defined radio. Using Linux for the on-board computer allows for fast development times and liberal use of existing open source software libraries. The parts of the receiver that require real-time implementation are performed in the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), which can also be reprogrammed in flight. While the Zynq is not rad hard, the silicon on insulator (SOI) technology is rad tolerant 'by accident', allowing for its use in many space-based applications. Early results show that the Cion is working as designed, has demonstrated the first known GLONASS occultations, and obtains high quality atmospheric profiles with excellent lower troposphere penetration (near Earth’s surface).

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 September 2018
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10769, CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing II, 1076905 (18 September 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2323830
Show Author Affiliations
Garth Franklin, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Stephan Esterhuizen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Chad Galley, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Byron Iijima, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Kameron Larsen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Myron Lee, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Jehhal Liu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Thomas Meehan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Larry Young, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10769:
CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing II
Thomas S. Pagano; Charles D. Norton, Editor(s)

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