, Volume 79, Issue 10-11, pp 567-572
Date: 10 Dec 2005

Systematic errors in the Z-geocenter derived using satellite tracking data: a case study from SPOT-4 DORIS data in 1998

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Within the scope of the Global Geodetic Observing System, Doppler Orbit Determination and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite – as a geodetic technique – can provide precise and continuous monitoring of the geocenter motion related to mass redistribution in the Earth, ocean and atmosphere system. We have reanalyzed 1998 DORIS/SPOT-4 (Satellite pour l’ Observation de la Terre) data that were previously generating inconsistent geocenter positions (−65 cm offset). We show here that this error is due to an incorrect phase center correction provided with the DORIS preprocessed data resulting from a +12 cm offset in the cross-track direction that has been confirmed since. We also conclude that a 1 mm error in the cross-track offset of non-yawing sun-synchronous SPOT satellites will generate a −6.5 mm error in the derived Z-geocenter. Other non-yawing satellites would also be affected by a similar effect whose amplitude could be easily estimated from the orbit inclination