Improvement in global gravity field recovery using GFZ-1 satellite laser tracking data
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The passive satellite GFZ-1 has been orbiting the Earth since April 1995. The purpose of this mission is to improve the current knowledge of the Earth's gravity field by analysing gravitational orbit perturbations observed at unique low altitudes, below 400 km. GFZ-1 is one target of the international satellite laser ranging ground network. An evaluation of the first 30 months of GFZ-1 laser tracking data led to a new version of the global GRIM4-S4 satellite-only gravity field model: GRIM4-S4G. Information was obtained from GFZ-1 data for spherical harmonic coefficients up to degree 100, which was not possible in any earlier satellite-only gravity field solution. GFZ-1's contribution to a global 5 × 5° geoid and gravity field representations is moderate but visible with a 1 cm and 0.1 mGal gain in accuracy on a level of 75 cm and 5 mGal, respectively.
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