Transit Satellite Navigation System

​The Doppler shift of signals from a moving satellite is used to determine the satellite's orbit compared to the location of the tracking station. By then inverting the process, a vessel can locate itself compared to the satellite's known location.

  1. Tracking stations measure the satellite's Doppler shift and relay it to a control center. The center determines the satellite's location and orbit and transmits it to the satellite, along with accurate time.
  2. When the satellite passes overhead, a vessel receives the time and orbital data from it and measures its Doppler shift. The vessel uses this information to find its location.
Caption:
The Doppler shift of signals from a moving satellite is used to determine the satellite's orbit compared to the location of the tracking station. By then inverting the process, a vessel can locate itself compared to the satellite's known location.
Type: Illustration
Image Date: 2012
Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Origin: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Creator: Bruce Morser
Innovations
Navigation Methods
 
The Doppler shift of signals from a moving satellite is used to determine the satellite's orbit compared to the location of the tracking station. By then inverting the process, a vessel can locate itself compared to the satellite's known location.