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  • A satellite system for navigation and communication

    Paper ID



    • E.B. Mullen
    • R.E. Anderson


    General Electric Company, Electronics Laboratory






    A proposed navigation and communication system is described which utilizes Satellites to provide navigation and other information automatically to aircraft and ships. A principal feature of the system, which distinguishes it from a number of other approaches which also use satellites, is the important role played by one or more cooperating ground stations. The ground station initiates a sequence of radio pulses which is relayed to an aircraft or ship via two satellites and is transponded back automatically over the same paths. A computer at the ground station, taking into account the travel times of the ranging pulses and the known satellite positions, calculates a ship’s position from the intersection points of the two circles of position determined by the range distances from the satellites. Aircraft would transmit back along with the ranging pulses their altitudes which are necessary for their accurate position fixing. The position coordinates computed at the ground station are transmitted back via the satellite to the user-craft (ship or airplane) and there automatically displayed within a second of the first transmission. The information may also be sent to other facilities for advisory or traffic control purposes. Since other forms of digital information may be sent through the satellite using the same pulse channel, a capability for communicating to and from the aircraft is an important feature of the system.