September 24, 2018
Werner Enderle, Francesco Gini, Henno Boomkamp, Joel J. Parker, Benjamin W. Ashman, Bryan W. Welch, Mick V. Koch, Obed S. Sands

The number and scope of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-based space applications has grown significantly since the first GNSS space receiver was flown in the early 1980's. The vast majority of GNSS space users operate in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), where the use of GNSS receivers has become routine. However, the use of GNSS has expanded to other orbit regimes like Geostationary Orbits (GEO) and High Eccentric Orbits (HEO) but has been very limited due to the challenges involved. The major challenges for such types of orbits including much weaker signals, reduced geometric diversity, and limited signal availability. In any case, considering the recent development of multiple GNSS constellations and ongoing upgrades to existing constellations, GNSS signal availability will improve significantly. As a result, this expanded multi-GNSS signal capability will enable improved on-orbit navigation performance and will also allow the development of new mission concepts. High altitude space users will especially benefit from this evolution, which will provide GNSS signals to challenging regimes well beyond Low Earth Orbit. These benefits will only be realised, however, if additional signals are designed to be interoperable, are clearly documented and supported. In order to enhance the overall GNSS performance for spacecraft's in regimes from LEO, GEO to HEO and beyond, all Satellite Navigation constellation providers and regional augmentation system providers are working together through the United Nations International Committee on GNSS (ICG) forum to establish an interoperable GNSS Space Service Volume (SSV) for the benefit of all GNSS space users. This paper provides an overview of the technical work and in particular the simulations, performance analysis and discussions of the outcomes and results obtained by the UN ICG Working Group-B in the context of the GNSS Space Service Volume activities, which were supported by all GNSS service providers.