Alternative method for angular rate determination within the GOCE gradiometer processing

C. Stummer, T. Fecher, R. Pail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The most crucial part of the GOCE gradiometer processing is, besides the internal calibration of the gradiometer, the determination of the satellite's inertial angular rate. This paper describes a new method for the angular rate determination. It is based on the stochastic properties of the GOCE star sensors and the gradiometer. The attitude information of both instrument types is combined at the level of angular rates. The combination is done in the spectral domain by Wiener filtering, and thus using an optimal relative weighting of the star sensor and gradiometer attitude information. Since the complete processing chain from raw measurements to gravity field solutions is performed, the results are not only analyzed at the level of gravity gradients, but also of gravity field solutions. Compared to the nominal method, already the resulting gravity gradients show a significantly improved performance for the frequencies (mainly) below the gradiometer measurement bandwidth. This can be verified by analysis of the gravity gradient trace. The improvement is propagated to the level of gravity field models, where a better accuracy can be observed for selected groups of coefficients at characteristic bands at orders k × 16, with integer k, up to high harmonic degrees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-596
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geodesy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Accelerations
  • Angular rate
  • GOCE
  • Gradiometer
  • Gravity gradients
  • Star sensor


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