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Organisation of GOCE Cal/Val and Product Quality Assurance Activities

Rune Floberghagen(1), Mark Drinkwater(2), Roger Haagmans(2), Michael Kern(2), Danilo Muzi(1), Gernot Plank(2) and Alex Popescu(1)

(1) ESA/ESTEC, EOP-PG, 2200 AG, Noordwijk, Netherlands
(2) ESA/ESTEC, EOP-SMO, 2200 AG, Noordwijk, Netherlands


While the details of the various GOCE calibration and validation (Cal/Val) activities are presented in a number of workshop presentations and posters, the present paper will focus on the overall organisation of the Cal/Val activities performed. Ideally, such procedures should lead to an optimal quality assurance of all scientific products from the mission, i.e. both for Level 1b data and for Level 2 data. The procedures and timeframes for the Cal/Val of these two classes of products are obviously different, and require tailored approaches. First, the Cal/Val activities performed on Level 1b data are put in place in order to determine and verify the quality of the Level 1b products as input to the Level 2 processing. Moreover, given the short operational liftetime of the mission, it is crucially important to achieve a rapid validation of the Level 1b products in order to swiftly be able to handle problems related to the satellite and/or payload hardware. On the other hand, the Cal/Val of Level 2 data will be performed on the basis of several orbit and gravity field solutions generated from independent processing methodologies. Such independent processing schemes offers the possibility of cross-comparing various steps of the processing. Additionally, a synthesis step at the end of the Level 2 processing chain is introduced in order to compare GOCE gravity field and orbit solutions with a huge number of available external data sets.


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