GOCE quick-look gravity solution: Application of the semianalytic approach in the case of data gaps and non-repeat orbits

T. Preimesberger, R. Pail

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung

15 Zitate (Scopus)


The satellite mission GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer), the first Core Mission of the Earth Explorer Programme funded by ESA (European Space Agency), is dedicated to the precise modelling of the Earth's gravity field, with its launch planned for 2006. The mathematical models for parameterizing the Earth's gravity field are based on a series expansion into spherical harmonics, yielding a huge number of unknown coefficients. Their computation leads to the solution of very large normal equation systems. An efficient way to handle these equation systems is the so-called semianalytic or lumped coefficients approach, which theoretically requires an uninterrupted, continuous time series of observations, recorded along an exact circular repeat orbit. In this paper the consequences of violating these conditions are analyzed. The effects of an interrupted observation stream onto the estimated spherical harmonic coefficients are demonstrated, and an iterative strategy, which reduces the negative influence depending on the characteristics of the data gaps, is proposed. Additionally, the impact of an imperfectly closing orbit (non-repeat orbit) on the gravity field model is analyzed, and a strategy to minimize the corresponding errors is presented. The applicability of the semianalytic approach also to a joint inversion of satellite-to-satellite tracking data in high-low mode (hl-SST) and satellite gravity gradiometry (SGG) observations is demonstrated, where the analysis of the former component is based on the energy conservation law. Several realistic case studies prove that the semianalytic approach is a feasible tool to generate quick-look gravity solutions, i.e. fast coefficient estimates using only partial data sets. This quick-look analysis shall be able to detect potential distortions of statistical significance (e.g. systematic errors) in the input data, and to give a fast feedback to the GOCE mission control.

Seiten (von - bis)435-453
FachzeitschriftStudia Geophysica et Geodaetica
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2003
Extern publiziertJa


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