Systematic biases in DORIS-derived geocenter time series related to solar radiation pressure mis-modeling
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As any satellite geodesy technique, DORIS can monitor geocenter variations associated to mass changes within the Earth–Atmosphere–Continental hydrosphere–Oceans system. However, especially for the Z-component, corresponding to a translation of the Earth along its rotation axis, the estimated geocenter is usually affected by large systematic errors of unknown cause. By reprocessing old DORIS data, and by analyzing single satellite solutions in the frequency domain, we show that some of these errors are satellite-dependent and related to the current DORIS orbit determination strategy. In particular, a better handling of solar pressure radiation effects on SPOT-2 and TOPEX satellites is proposed which removes a large part of such artifacts. By empirically multiplying the current solar pressure model with a single coefficient (1.03 for TOPEX/Poseidon after 1993.57, and 0.96 before; and 1.08 for SPOT-2) estimated over a long time period, we can improve the measurement noise of the Z-geocenter component from 47.5 to 30.4 mm for the RMS and from 35 to 6 mm for the amplitude of the annual signal. However, the estimated SRP coefficient for SPOT-2 presents greater temporal variability, indicating that a new, dedicated solar radiation pressure model is still needed for precise geodetic applications. In addition, for the TOPEX satellite, a clear discontinuity of unknown cause is also detected on July 27, 1993.
KeywordsDORIS Geocenter variations Systematic errors Solar radiation pressure
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