An extensive and autonomous deep space navigation system using radio pulsars

A.A. Kestillä, S. Engelen, E.K.A. Gill, C.J.M. Verhoeven, Marinus Jan Bentum, Z. Irahhauten

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    37 Downloads (Pure)


    Interstellar navigation poses significant challenges in all aspects of a spacecraft. One of them is reliable, low-cost, real-time navigation, especially when there is a considerable distance between Earth and the spacecraft in question. In this paper, a complete system for navigation using pulsar radio emissions is described and analysed. The system uses a pulsar‟s emissions in the radio spectrum to create a novel system capable of fully autonomous navigation. The system is roughly divided into two parts, the front - end and the back - end, as well as their subdivisions. The front - end performs initial signal reception and pre-processing. It applies time-based coherent de-dispersion to allow for low-power on-board processing, and uses a very wide bandwidth to limit the required antenna size. As a result, the electronics required performing the processing is complex, but the system is well limited in both size and power consumption.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publication61th International Astronautical Congress (IAC2010)
    Place of PublicationPrague
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)1995-6258
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2010
    Event61st International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2010 - Prague, Czech Republic
    Duration: 27 Sep 20101 Oct 2010
    Conference number: 61

    Publication series

    ISSN (Print)1995-6258


    Conference61st International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2010
    Abbreviated titleIAC
    Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


    • IR-75272
    • EWI-19036
    • METIS-276205

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