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Rapid and Precise Orbit Determination for the GOCE Satellite

Pieter Visser(1), Jose Van Den IJssel(1), Tom Van Helleputte(1), H. Bock(2), A. Jaeggi(2), G. Beutler(2), U. Hugentobler(2) and Drazen Svehla(3)

(1) Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, Netherlands
(2) University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
(3) Technical University Munich, Arcisstrasse 21, D-80290, Munich, Germany


The ESA GOCE Core Explorer Mission will carry a 12-channel, dual-frequency GPS receiver for high-accuracy precise orbit determination. Precise GOCE orbit solutions will be used to accurately geolocate the observations taken by the primary science instrument, the gradiometer, that aims at collecting medium to short wavelength gravity information. In addition, the orbit solutions will provide complementary information for the long-wavelength gravity field part.

Precise orbit determination is an integral part of the GOCE High-Level Processing Facility (HPF) that aims at producing the best gravity field model products possible. A rapid (RSO) and precise science orbit (PSO) determination chain will be implemented at respectively DEOS and AIUB with typical latencies of 1 day and 1-2 weeks. Additional orbit analysis, such as comparisons of different solutions and quality checks will be conducted by IAPG. The RSO chain will support the operations of the GOCE satellite allowing quick checks of the scientific data streams and quick-look gravity field solutions. The PSO chain will provide the most accurate GOCE orbit solutions possible for use in the final gravity field determinations.

An overview will be given of the adopted orbit determination strategies, RSO and PSO product contents and quality control.


Workshop presentation

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