From Eötvös to Milligal+

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    The satellite gravity mission GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) is the first Core Mission of ESA 's Earth Explorer Program. It will be the first dedicated gravity field mission of ESA, with the launch scheduled for spring 2007. The GOCE mission strives for a high-accuracy, high-resolution model of the Earth's static gravity field, represented by spherical harmonic coefficients complete up to degree and order 250, which corresponds to a shortest spatial half-wavelength of less than 100 km. GOCE is based on a sensor fusion concept: The GOCE spacecraft will be tracked by GPS, which will provide the orbit with an accuracy in the centimeter range (satellite-to-satellite tracking in high-low mode, hl-SST). A three-axis gravity gradiometer as the core instrument on board of the satellite will provide local gravity field information in terms of second order derivatives of the gravitational potential along the orbit (satellite gravity gradiometry, SGG), plus linear and angular accelerations of the spacecraft which will be compensated for by ion thrusters ('FEEPs'). The resulting data contains abundant information about the Earth's gravity field from very low frequencies (derived mostly from hl-SST) to high frequencies (derived mostly from SGG).
    Effective start/end date18/05/0031/10/02


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