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1. WO2000014566 - ACCURATE RANGE AND RANGE RATE DETERMINATION IN A SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM

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[ EN ]

What Is Claimed Is:
1. An apparatus for determining the distance between a satellite and a user terminal and the rate of change of said distance, comprising:
a user terminal receiver to receive at a user terminal a first signal from a satellite; a user terminal demodulator to measure at said user terminal the frequency shift of said first signal to obtain a first Doppler shift, and to record the time of the frequency measurement to obtain a first timestamp;
a user terminal transmitter to transmit said first Doppler shift and said first timestamp to a gateway as a second signal;
a gateway demodulator to measure at said gateway a round trip delay between the transmission of said first signal from said satellite and the reception of said second signal at said gateway, to measure at said gateway the frequency shift of said second signal to obtain a second Doppler shift, and to record the time of the gateway measurements to obtain a second timestamp; and
a position determination module at said gateway to determine the distance between said satellite and said user terminal and the rate of change of said distance based on said round trip delay, said first and second Doppler frequency shifts, and said first and second timestamps.

2. An apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
means for receiving at said user terminal a third signal from a second satellite;
means for measuring at the user terminal the arrival time difference between said first and third signals;
means for measuring at the user terminal the frequency shift of said third signal to obtain a third Doppler shift;
means for transmitting said arrival time difference and said third Doppler shift to said gateway as part of said second signal; and
means for determining at the gateway the distance between said second satellite and the user terminal and the rate of change of said distance based on said round trip delay, said third Doppler shift, and said arrival time difference.

3. An apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
means for measuring at said user terminal the interval between reception of said first signal and transmission of said second signal to obtain a user terminal delay;
means for transmitting said user terminal delay to said gateway; and
means for subtracting at said gateway said user terminal delay from said round trip delay.

4. An apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
means for subtracting at said gateway the delay experienced by said second signal at said satellite from said round trip delay.

5. An apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
means for correcting said second Doppler shift for the Doppler shift caused by the relative motion of said satellite and said gateway.

6. A method for determining the distance between a satellite and a user terminal and the rate of change of said distance, comprising:
receiving at a user terminal a first signal from a satellite;
measuring at said user terminal the frequency shift of said first signal to obtain a first Doppler shift;
recording the time of the user terminal measurement to obtain a first timestamp; transmitting said first Doppler shift and said first timestamp to a gateway as a second signal;
measuring at said gateway a round trip delay between the transmission of said first signal from said satellite and the reception of said second signal at said gateway;
measuring at said gateway the frequency shift of said second signal to obtain a second Doppler shift;
recording the time of the gateway measurement to obtain a second timestamp; and determining at said gateway the distance between said satellite and said user terminal and the rate of change of said distance based on said round trip delay, said first and second Doppler frequency shifts, and said first and second timestamps.

7. A method according to claim 6, comprising the further steps of:
receiving at said user terminal a third signal from a second satellite;
measuring at said user terminal the arrival time difference between said first and third signals;
measuring at said user terminal the frequency shift of said third signal to obtain a third Doppler shift;
transmitting said arrival time difference and said third Doppler shift to said gateway as part of said second signal; and
determining at said gateway the distance between said second satellite and said user terminal and the rate of change of said distance based on said round trip delay, said third Doppler shift, and said arrival time difference.

8. A method according to claim 6, further comprising the steps of:
measuring at said user terminal the interval between reception of said first signal and transmission of said second signal to obtain a user terminal delay;
transmitting said user terminal delay to said gateway; and
subtracting at said gateway said user terminal delay from said round trip delay prior to said determining step.

9. A method according to claim 6, further comprising the step of:
subtracting at said gateway the delay experienced by said second signal at the satellite from said round trip delay prior to said determining step.

10. A method according to claim 6, further comprising the steps of:
correcting said second Doppler shift for the Doppler shift caused by the relative motion of said satellite and said gateway prior to said determining step.