PULSAR NAVIGATION: DEFINING AN UPPER BOUND FOR DISTANCE FROM REFERENCE
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© 2018 Univelt Inc. All rights reserved. Pulsar navigation uses signals from distant pulsars to estimate an observer’s position relative to a defined reference point. Due to the periodic nature of incoming pulsar signals, the possible locations where a certain pulse pattern can be observed is non-unique. In order to prevent such ambiguous measurements, an upper bound on the distance from the reference point is developed which guarantees a unique position estimate. This paper first explains in detail the problem of ambiguous measurements in pulsar navigation and then derives the upper bound for distance from a reference point. This upper bound is dependent on the pulsar characteristics and defines the size of the “reference volume”. An algorithm for calculating size of the reference volume is presented along with a detailed development of how the size is affected by pulse model uncertainty. Finally, example calculations are presented using cataloged pulsars.
author list (cited authors)
Borissov, S., Bridges, G., Vlasak, W., Butcher, J., & Mortari, D.