Frequency Augumented Clock Synchronizaion for Space-based interferometry

F. Abel, P.P. Sundaramoorthy, R.T. Rajan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific

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Recently, an increase in distributed space systems and a rise in number of nodes in such systems is observed in numerous space applications, for example space-based interferometry. Such applications pose stringent demands on time synchronization which can be challenging to achieve for satellite networks that lack an absolute time reference source, as would be the case with networks beyond Earth orbit. In this paper, we propose a new class of frequency-based and multi-domain time synchronization and ranging algorithms applicable to anchorless mobile networks of asynchronous nodes. First, the Frequency-based Pairwise Least Squares (FPLS) that estimates clock skew and relative velocity under constant pairwise velocity assumption. Second, the Combined Pairwise Least Squares (CPLS)
— a two step approach where first, skew and velocity are estimated using FPLS and then its results are fed into a reformulated time domain method to estimate offset and range. The proposed methods are applied to a case study to OLFAR — a spaceborne large aperture radio interferometric array platform for observing the cosmos in the frequency range from 0.3 MHz to 30 MHz to be stationed in the Lunar orbit. The results show that the proposed methods decrease communication and computation needs and can improve the clock synchronization performance for space-based interferometry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmall Satellite Systems and Services
Subtitle of host publication4S Symposum
Number of pages14
Publication statusSubmitted - May 2022
Event4S Symposium 2022 - Vilamoura, Portugal
Duration: 16 May 202220 May 2022


Conference4S Symposium 2022


  • Synchronization
  • clock synchronisation
  • satellites
  • interferometry
  • Space-based radio astronomy


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