Space-based ADS-B for GPS-independent position validation

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  • Author: John Dolan, Mike Garcia, Giuseppe Sirigu
Aireon has developed a proof-of-concept multilateration solution that allows for independent position determination of ADS-B-equipped aircraft. This solution will allow Aireon to continue tracking aircraft even when they are unable to broadcast their GPS position using only their transmitted 24-bit aircraft address and the time of reception at the Aireon Hosted Payloads onboard the Iridium satellites. This is done through a Satellite Wide Area Multilateration (SWAM) application that uses Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) measurements from simultaneous detection of ADS-B transmissions on multiple payloads. This solution leverages traditional multilateration techniques used by terrestrial systems but applied via satellite. This is possible due to both the Iridium constellation, with its significant overlapping satellite coverage, and Iridium’s ability to accurately track the position and timing of each satellite (on the order of hundreds of nanoseconds), which is shared with Aireon
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