Positioning in the Arctic Region: State-of-the-Art and Future Perspectives

Anastasia Yastrebova, Marko Höyhtyä, Sandrine Boumard, Elena Simona Lohan, Aleksandr Ometov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
73 Downloads (Pure)


The positioning systems’ high accuracy and reliability are crucial enablers for various future applications, including autonomous shipping worldwide. It is especially challenging for the Arctic region due to the lower number of visible satellites, severe ionospheric disturbances, scintillation effects, and higher delays than in the non-Arctic and non-Antarctic regions. In regions up North, conventional satellite positioning systems are generally proposed to be utilized, together with other situational awareness systems, to achieve the necessary level of accuracy. This paper provides a detailed review of the current state-of-the-art, satellite-based positioning systems’ availability and performance and reports high-level positioning requirements for the oncoming applications. In particular, the comparative study between three Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) constellations is executed to determine whether they are suitable for autonomous vessel navigation in the Arctics’ complex environment as the two most significant drivers for a reevaluation of the related satellite constellations. This work analyzes the ongoing research executed in different (inter-) national projects focused on Galileo, Global Positioning System (GPS), and GLObal NAvigation Satellite System (GLONASS). Based on the literature review and the simulation campaign, we conclude that all the convectional constellations achieve an accuracy of fewer than three meters in the analyzed Arctic scenarios. It is postulated that other complementary positioning methods should be utilized to improve accuracy beyond this limit. Finally, the study emphasizes existing challenges in the Arctic region regarding the localization and telecommunication capabilities and provides future research directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53964-53978
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Arctic
  • Global navigation satellite system
  • Satellites
  • Satellite broadcasting
  • Radar tracking
  • Global Positioning System
  • Earth
  • Marine
  • Navigation
  • Aerospace electronics
  • UAV

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2


Dive into the research topics of 'Positioning in the Arctic Region: State-of-the-Art and Future Perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this