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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2018, Article ID 8035093, 9 pages
Research Article

A Novel Location-Awareness Method Using CubeSats for Locating the Spot Beam Emitters of Geostationary Communications Satellites

1School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
2School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
3SpaceKey Technology, Ltd., Beijing 100191, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yong Xu; moc.361@8151gnoyux

Received 21 August 2017; Accepted 20 December 2017; Published 22 January 2018

Academic Editor: Nazrul Islam

Copyright © 2018 Weicai Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As more spacecraft are launched into the Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) belt, the possibility of fatal collisions or unnecessary interference between spacecraft increases. In this paper, a new location-awareness method that uses CubeSats is proposed to assist with radiofrequency (RF) domain verification by means of awareness and identification of the positions of the spot beam emitters of communications satellites in geostationary orbit. By flying a CubeSat (or a constellation of CubeSats) through the coverage area of a spot beam, the spot beam emitter’s position is identified and the spot beam’s pattern knowledge is characterized. The geometry, the equations of motion of the spacecraft, the measurement process, and the filtering equations in a location system are addressed with respect to the location methods investigated in this study. A realistic scenario in which a CubeSat receives signals from GEO communications satellites is simulated using the Systems Tool Kit (STK). The results of the simulation and the analysis presented in this study provide a thorough verification of the performance of the location-awareness method.