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Generation and Validation of Orbit Products for the GOCE Mission

Drazen Svehla(1)

(1) Technical University Munich, Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 Munich, Germany


The ESA GOCE Core Explorer Mission will be equipped with a dual-frequency GPS receiver for precise orbit determination and with a SLR reflector for orbit validation. The final GOCE orbit will be jointly computed by the AIUB in Bern and the IAPG at the TU M√ľnchen on a daily routine basis as an integrated part of the GOCE High-Level Processing Facility (HPF). In addition, the IAPG is responsible for the re-processing of the final kinematic and reduced-dynamic GOCE orbit.

We perform the generation and validation of the orbit products including the final GOCE precise kinematic orbit with the variance-covariance matrix and the GOCE precise reduced-dynamic orbits. Both types of orbits will be accompanied with the quality information and orbit validation reports including performance of the GOCE GPS receiver. We present an algorithm to compute the variance-covariance information for the GOCE kinematic orbit and the way by which it is defined as a product. In order to provide information about the Earth rotation and transformation between the Earth-fixed and inertial system we present the algorithm and the use of the Earth orientation quaternions. Finally, we address the role and present the chain for reprocessing the final GOCE kinematic and reduced-dynamic orbits. We give an overview of various orbit determination strategies developed for the GOCE mission starting from the purely kinematic, reduced-kinematic, reduced-dynamic to fully dynamic methods based on numerical integration.


Workshop poster

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry