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SEMINAR REPORT 2008-09 SATRACK

INTRODUCTION

According to the dictionary guidance is the

‘process of guiding the path of an object towards a given point,

which in general may be moving’. The process of guidance is

based on the position and velocity if the target relative to the

guided object. The present day ballistic missiles are all guided

using the global positioning system or GPS.GPS uses satellites

as instruments for sending signals to the missile during flight

and to guide it to the target. SATRACK is a system that was

developed to provide an evaluation methodology for the

guidance system of the ballistic missiles. This was developed

as a comprehensive test and evaluation program to validate

the integrated weapons system design for nuclear powered

submarines launched ballistic missiles. This is based on the

tracking signals received at the missile from the GPS satellites.

SATRACK has the ability to receive record, rebroadcast and

track the satellite signals. SATRACK facility also has the great

advantage that the whole data obtained from the test flights

can be used to obtain a guidance error model. The recorded

data along with the simulation data from the models can

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produce a comprehensive guidance error model. This will

result in the solution that is the best flight path for the missile.

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GPS SIGNALS

The signals for the GPS satellite navigation are two L-

band frequency signals. They can be called L1 and L2.L1 is at

1575.42 MHz and L2 at 1227.60 MHz .The modulations used for

these GPS signals are

1. Narrow band clear/acquisition code with 2MHz bandwidth.

2. Wide band encrypted P code with 20MHz bandwidth.

L1 is modulated using the narrow band C/A code only.

This signal will give an accuracy of close to a 100m only. L2 is

modulated using the P code. This code gives a higher accuracy

close to 10m that is why they are encrypted. The parameters

that a GPS signal carries are latitude, longitude, altitude and

time. The modulations applied to each frequency provide the

basis for epoch measurements used to determine the

distances to each satellite. Tracking of the dual frequency GPS

signals provides a way to correct measurements from the

effect of refraction through the ionosphere. An alternate

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frequency L3 at 1381.05MHz was also used to compensate for

the IONOSPHERIC effects.

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Fig:1 Satrack concept

SATRACK CONCEPT

Guidance system evaluation concept of very early

weapons systems depended on the impact scoring techniques.

This means that the missile was shot and the accuracy was

formulated on the scoring or the target destruction. This


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evaluation method was unacceptable for evaluating the more

precise requirements of the latest systems. A new methodology

was needed that provided insights into the major error

contributors within the flight-test environment. The existing

range instrumentation was largely provided by radar systems.

They however did not provide the needed accuracy or range in

the broad ocean test ranges. The accuracy projections needed to

be based on the high confidence understanding of the underlying

system parameters. SATRACK was developed with the necessary

hardware and telemetry stations.

The figure shows the SATRACK measurement concept.

The main parts are the GPS satellites, the missile translator and

ground telemetry stations. The missile receives the signals from

the GPS satellites. They are translated to another frequency and

relayed to the ground telemetry stations. The telemetry station

records the data for playback and for post processing.

The satellite signals received at the missile are translated

to S-band frequencies for the telemetry station using the missile

hardware called translators. The ground based telemetry station

record the data after reception through the antenna after

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digitising the signals. Some ground sites uses L1 C/A signals to

provide real time tracking solutions.

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GPS TRANSLATOR

This flight hardware is fixed in the missile. The

translator receives the GPS signals and they are amplified,

shifted to an intermediate frequency, filtered to cover the

satellite signal modulation bandwidth, shifted to an output

frequency. Then they are amplified for transmission to one

or more ground stations.

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Fig. 2 GPS Translator

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The translator does the following

1. Received the satellite signal

2. Translated it to a missile telemetry frequency (S-band)

3. Rebroadcast the received signal

GPS translator are of both Analog and digital types The

Analog translators heterodyne the L-band signal to S-band

adds a pilot carrier to allow the monitoring of the reference

oscillator variations. Both wide and narrow band type of Analog

translators are used. Digital translators down-convert the

received L-band GPS signal to near base band and digitises it.

This digitised data is modulated into an S-band carrier and

transmitted to the ground stations.

FIELD SUPPORT EQUIPMENT

SATRACK is the most useful tool because of its post

flight processing facility .The ground equipment consists of

receiving antenna, data recorder and auxiliary reference

timing systems. The equipment receives the translated GPS

signal along with other telemetry signals and distributes it to

the data recorder. Most ground stations are capable of

generating a precise atomic timing standard. The earlier


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equipments were narrowband recorders that relied on high-

speed tape recorders. These gave up to 14 tracks of recording

channels with four mega samples per second. The translator

processing system was developed for the national missile

defence exoatmospheric re-entry intercept subsystem where it

served as a real-time GPS processor for range safety as well as

data recorder. Some later versions were capable of processing

data from both analogue and digital translators.

PORTABLE GROUND EQUIPMENT

This hardware is used for the post flight processing and

tracking of the satellite signals. The SATRACK facility processes

the raw data into a time series of range and Doppler

measurements for each satellite, and the Kalman filter, which

incorporates various corrections and generates a navigation

solution for the missile. The system has undergone a lot of

redesign and development as the requirements evolved with

new type of translators and receivers. The latest system

processes the wideband L1/L2 signals dual frequency P-code as

required by wide band translators. The system hardware is

based on Analog Device SHARC processor. Most of the custom

GPS processing hardware is based on field programmable gate


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arrays [FPGA]. Each board has the ability to track up to eight

channels. The user interface is done using windows based PC

workstations.

POST FLIGHT TRACKING AND DATA PROCESSING

This is the most important part of the SATRACK technology

FIG 3 Basic SATRACK configurations.

 For a number of days surrounding the missile flight, GPS

signals are received, tracked, and recorded at the GPS

tracking sites.

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 During the missile flight, GPS signals are received by

missile, translated in frequency, and transmitted to the

surface station(s).

 A tracking antenna at the station receives the missile

signals, separates the various components and records the

data.

 The post-flight process uses the recorded data to give

satellite ephemeredes clock estimates tracked signal-data

from the post-flight receiver, and missile guidance sensor

data.

 After the signal tracking data are corrected, the entire data

element and the system models are used by the missile

processor to produce the flight test data products.

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The figure shows how the post flight tracking


facility accomplishes precision tracking of the GPS signals
through the playback of the recorded translator signals. High
accuracy satellite ephemeredes and the clock estimate
covering their span of test flight is obtained. These data along
with the processed telemetry data help provide the tracking
aids for the post flight receiver and measurement estimates for
the missile processor. The translator passes signal for all the
satellite in view of the missile antenna and the post flight
receiver provides all in view satellite signal tracking. During
play back satellite signals are tracked through delay locked
loops.

For range code modulation and phase locked loops


for carrier phase tracking.

The post flight processing of the recorded data is used


to test the accuracy of the measurements that is to evaluate
the guidance system. The concept can be explained based on
the block diagram given below.

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Fig: 4 strategic weapons systems accuracy evaluation concept

The procedure was developed by whish the


uncertainties with whish we observe a performance as well as
the finitude of test programs was translated in to specified
confidence in the accuracy parameters being estimated.
Information theory provided the basis for developing the
algorithms that could quantify the confidence with which
accuracy could be estimated. Next performance needed to be
known, not just the system level but at the subsystem level
also. The accuracy evaluation program had to be able to
isolate faults and estimate performance of the subsystems or
the various phases of the system. Since the allowable number
of test used for the determination of estimates were limited to
10to 20 the instrumentation had to be of high quality to
provide the high confidence measurements hence to get good
confidence estimates. In addition to this, we also needed to

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extrapolate the untested condition that is to predict tactical


performance with high-quantified confidence from test data.

Data from each accuracy test was analysed using some


variant of the Kalman filter. Within these filters are the detailed
models of both the system and the instrumentation for each
system. The figure depicts how this analysis is accomplished.
Given a particular test or scenario measurement, data are
collected on the various subsystems. Using rigorous methods,
these data are collected with prior information generally
developed and maintained by builders of the various parts of the
system under test. This prior information is necessary for the
single test processing, given the incomplete observability of the
error sources. The outputs of the filter provide the basis for
understanding particular realizations of system and subsystem
behaviour. Analysis results provide insight in to the sources and
causes of the inaccuracy. The results of the multiple tests –the
outputs of the Kalman filter –serve as the inputs to the
cumulative parameter estimation process. All prior information
regarding the relative error models is removed so that the
estimate accuracy is derived solely from the test data.

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Fig: 5 reconstructions of sources of missile impact miss distance


error

The graph shows a hypothetical diagram used to allocate


contributions to the impact miss. This method is based on
projecting each error contributor and its uncertainty into impact
domain.
1. first level allocation is at the subsystem level: initial
conditions, guidance, and deployment and re-entry
2. second-level allocation provides data for major error groups
within each subsystem eg: accelerometers
3. Third-level allocation (not given in figure) produces
estimates of fundamental error terms of guidance model
eg: an accelerometer scale factor error.

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This process solves the highly non linear equations for


the means, variances, and Markov parameters that characterize
the overall

system accuracy performance. In addition uncertainties in the


parameter estimates are calculated so that we have a
quantitative measure of our confidence in the solution .The
ultimate desired product is system performance under tactical
not test conditions. Here we rely heavily on the tactical gravity
and weather conditions developed from data and
instrumentation. These models along with deterministic
simulations of the system are then used to propagate the
fundamental model parameter estimates and the uncertainties
to the domain of interest-system accuracy at the target.

The carrier phase tracking of the signals provide the


critical measurements .The measurements of the GPS signal;
phase sense range changes along the line of sight for each
signal to a small fraction of the wavelength usually a few
millimetres. These measurements which when compared to
their values computed from guidance sensor data and satellite
position and velocity estimates, provide most of the
information. Noise in the measurement of the recovered GPS
range code signals is of secondary importance. In essence, the
inertial sensors provide high frequency motion information
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better than the signal processes, the Doppler information


senses the systematic errors associated with the inertial
sensors and the range data provide an initial condition for all
the dynamic measurements. The range noise remaining after
the process of smoothing of the noise is smaller than

the other bias like uncertainties that set the limit on absolute
position accuracy e.g.: the satellite position.

The missile and satellite trajectories including


stimulated errors for satellite position and clocks were used
dot drive the satellite signal generators to produce the
simulated GPS signals. These are then passed through digitally
controlled phase shifters and time multiplexing switch to
emulate the missile GPS antenna network. This is connected to
a missile translator hardware simulator that produced the GPS
signals at S-band. An S-band antenna hardware simulator
produced the outputs, which were recorded by the prototype
telemetry station receiver, and the recording equipment .The
hardware simulator drivers were conditioned to encompass all
anticipated effects including signal refraction through the
ionosphere and troposphere. The recorded data were
equivalent to the data that would be received from telemetry
site.

The post flight processing facility now has all the inputs,
GPS ephemeredes, clock files, and telemetry data and
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translated signal data tape. These data are then processed and
an estimate of the underlying model errors is produced. In
addition, the testing of the post processing system is done by
this method.

EVOLUTION OF SATRACK

SATRACK has evolved over a quarter century. The


original development for the Trident I missile (C4) began in earn
-est. in1974.4 The C4 version (SATRACKI) was a technology
develop -pment program aimed at(1) gaining insight into what
was needed for improved accuracy and (2) developing an
adequate accuracy evaluation n system. SATRACK, as it
evolved, is the fulfilment of the second major
objective.SATRACK I proved that it could provide adequate
estimates of guidance subsystem errors for individual flights. It
was a pioneering effort in that both the tracking methods and
the large Kalman filter processing techniques were pushing the
state-of the-art. The second phase (SATRACK II) was a major
upgrade in response to the stringent measurement
requirements set by the Accuracy Evaluation System study.5
The study established the total weapon system instrumentation
requirements for the Trident II (D5) missile in accordance with
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specified accuracy evaluation objectives, Including SATRACK as


well as other prelaunch, in-flight, and Re-entry area
instrumentation. SATRACK II has been operational since 1987. A
general upgrade has been initiated to replace aging
components of the D5 test system.

The new SATRACK ground recording equipment is


currently in the final stages of checkout, upgrading at the post
flight facility is well along, and preliminary design of
replacement missile test components is beginning.
Furthermore, efforts have been focused for the last several
years on a new GPS translator system to support Trident re-
entry body testing. The upgraded system will not only
modernize the facility hardware and software functions, it will
also substantially extend SATRACK Performance capabilities.
and its influence on the Peacekeeper guidance model. The
Navy will continue to test and evaluate the Trident Weapon
System with the primary goals of detecting changes to system
performance caused by aging components and assessing
system modifications needed to extend its lifetime.
In this regard, we recognize that SATRACK
evaluation is only one part of system accuracy assessment,
and accuracy assessment is only a part of the total weapon
system evaluation. Equal diligence is needed in all aspects of
monitoring and maintaining the Trident system. Continued D5
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accuracy evaluation support will remain the primary objective


for SATRACK. However, in parallel with this activity, we have
identified a natural extension of SATRACK capabilities that can
support precision intercept evaluations for national and theatre
ballistic missile defence flight tests.

This realization grew out of our ERIS flight


test experience and our support to the Strategic Defence
Initiative Organization for the development of a precision
intercept test capability for the Brilliant Pebbles Program. Both
of these projects and the continued support of NMD test
objectives have, with Navy concurrence, taken advantage of
the unique APL facilities developed for Trident. As noted in a
companion article (Thompson, this issue) on a high-precision
sled test, we successfully completed an IR&D project devoted
to demonstrating the measurement capability needed for
precision intercept test evaluations.
An earlier IR&D project developed a translator
design for this purpose that was the basis for a new Trident
translator system used for supporting special reentry body
tests. The upgraded SATRACK postflight tracking facility will
support existing C4 and D5 translators and reentry body
translators as well as the replacement translator to be selected
for the new D5 test missile kit. When completed, we will refer
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to this configuration as SATRACK III, which will take full


advantage of technology growth in processing hardware and
software to produce a workstation-based facility that is easily
reconfigured to support a wide range of tests.The capabilities
of the new configuration and the expected reduced test tempo
of Trident flight tests naturally produce a processing capacity
that can be extended to support critical ballistic intercept
testing of other high-priority defense programs. Our studies
indicate that this capability is required to adequately support
model validation of precision missile intercept systems, and we
have configured the postflight tracking subsystem architecture
to be easily expanded to eventually support such tests.
The office responsible for general range
applications, RAJPO, is developing a translator-based GPS
range system (TGRS) that includes a capability for intercept
support missions. This system is intended to serve both range
safety and postflight evaluation objectives for a variety of
range users. Many new applications are expected to use TGRS
digital translators and their ground station recording
equipment. A newupgrade to the APL postflight tracking facility
will provide an interface for TGRS data processing in the
near future.

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MAJOR BREAKTHROUGHS

1. EVALUATION CAPABILITY FOR CUMULATIVE FLIGHT

The limitations of the test geometry prohibit

observations of all the errors in any single flight test. Since

each test flight provides observations of the underlying system

missile guidance error models, the data can be combined from

may flight tests. The final cumulative analysis of flight test

data produces a guidance error model of the weapons system.

It combines observations from each flight to derive a missile

guidance model that is both tactically representative and

based completely on the flight test data. This model combined

with other similarly derived sub system models helps develop

planning factors used to assign weapons system targets

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2. FULL DIGITAL IMPLEMENTATION.


The full digital implementation is of the Portable ground

equipment and processing facility. So, the results are expected

to be repeatable. This is a very big improvement over the

Analog circuitry

such as the Analog PLLs used for carrier- phase tracking loop.

In addition, the digital implementation removes the need for

periodic hardware calibration that accompanies the analog

circuits

3. BATCH MODE PROCESSING

This type of processing allows hardware to operate

with software like flexibility. As the pure software system was

too slow, hardware that is fully configurable under software

control implemented the most computing intensive portions of

the process such as signal correlation, generation of local code

and carrier signal mixing. It is possible to acquire the signal

with virtually no acquisition delay by conducting extensive

searches with initial batch of data until all the signals are

found.

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4. FLEXIBLE ARCHITECTURE RECEIVER

The batch mode processing has been applied to

stand alone real time capable receiver called FAR. It retains

the essence of batch mode architecture. While maintaining the

capability to process the data in real time. FAR is a single

channel L1 C/A only receiver with a front-end data storage

memory that buffers unto one s of data. It can track up to 16

satellites in real time without any loss from channel

multiplexing

CONCLUSION

SATRACK is a significant contributor to the successful


development of and operational success of the trident
weapons system. It provides a unique monitoring function that
is critical to the maintenance of strategic weapons systems.
The development and research leading up to this technology
has been instrumental in bringing out the latest in GPS
receiver, translators, data recorders etc. Several special tests
have been conducted with various combinations of inertial
systems, GPS receivers, translators as well as RF/antenna
designs. Special tests have demonstrated that accuracy may
be achieved to support potential new and extremely
demanding tactical strike scenarios. The development of
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SATRACK looks forward to the implementation of the Low Cost


Missile Test Kit. [LCTMK]. One other main development from
this technology was the development of sophisticated tools for
optimal target patterning. Instrumentation, analytic methods,
and modelling and the use of limited and expensive flight tests
assets were also born out of the SATRACK research.

REFERENCES

 Marc Camacho and Sung Lim:”SATRACK tests missile


accuracy,” IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement pp: 37-
45 June 2003

 D. R. Coleman and L.S. Simkins,”The fleet ballistic missile

accuracy evaluation program,” Johns Hopkins APL Tech


Digest Vol.19 No.4
pp 393-397 1998

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 T.Thompson, L.J.Levy, and E.Westerfield,” The SATRACK

system: Development and applications,” Johns Hopkins APL


Tech Digest Vol.19 No.4 pp 436-446 1998

 David .E. Mosher,” Ballistic missile defence,”IEEE Spectrum

pp29-39 September 1997

 Shneydor N. A ,”Missile guidance and Pursuit,”Herwood

Publishers pp 1-3,47-48 1998

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I extend my sincere gratitude towards Mrs.Seena.I.T,


Head of Department, Govt.Women’s Polytechnic, Nedupuzha,
Thrissur for giving us her invaluable knowledge and wonderful
technical guidance.

I express my thanks to Mrs.Seena.I.T, our seminar co-


ordinator and other lecturers of the Computer Department,
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Govt.Women’s Polytechnic, Nedupuzha, Thrissur for their kind


co-operation guidance for preparing and presenting this
seminar.
I also thank all the other faculty members of Computer
Department and my friends for their help and support.

RESMI.K

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CONTENTS

• INTRODUCTION
• GPS SIGNALS
• SATRACK CONCEPT
• GPS TRANSLATOR
• FIELD SUPPORT EQUIPMENT
• PORTABLE GROUND EQUIPMENT
• DATA RECORDING AND POSTFLIGHT PROCESSING
• EVOLUTION OF SATRACK
• MAJOR BREAKTHROUGHS
• ADVANTANGES
• DISADVANTAGES
• FUTURE DIRECTIONS
• CONCLUSION
• REFERENCES

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ABSTRACT

The origin of the missile can be traced back to the


roman war machine the catapult. The guided missile was born
when Werner Von Siemens suggested a guide torpedo for
submarines in the late 19th century. From these beginnings the
present day trident and tomahawk are guided from the skies
using the GPS signals. This seminar deals with the
measurement concept that tests the missile accuracy.
SATRACK receives, rebroadcast, records and tracks the
satellite signals sent by the GPS signals. The reception and
rebroadcast of the signals is done by a missile hardware called
the GPS translator. The ground telemetry stations consist of
the RF antenna and recorders for the data. Post-flight
processing and modelling are done later at the SATRACK
Facility. Also the major error contributors to the missile flight
are determined by the modelling done. There is extensive use
of simulated signals in this method. This seminar also throws
light on the major breakthrough technologies that were
developed during the research leading up to the final form of
this technology. The major advantages, disadvantages and
future applications of this method are also discussed. This
guidance system evaluation concept is the best in the current
test and evaluation technology for guided weapons systems.

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