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Integral inversion of SST data of type GRACE

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Satellite missions CHAMP and GRACE dedicated to global mapping of the Earth’s gravity field yield accurate satellite-to-satellite tracking (SST) data used for recovery of global geopotential models usually in a form of a finite set of Stokes’s coefficients. The US-German Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) yields SST data in both the high-low and low-low mode. Observed satellite positions and changes in the intersatellite range can be inverted through the Newtonian equation of motion into values of the unknown geopotential. The geopotential is usually approximated in observation equations by a truncated harmonic series with unknown coefficients. An alternative approach based on integral inversion of the SST data of type GRACE into discrete values of the geopotential at a geocentric sphere is discussed in this article. In this approach, observation equations have a form of Green’s surface integrals with scalar-valued integral kernels. Despite their higher complexity, the kernel functions exhibit features typical for other integral kernels used in geodesy for inversion of gravity field data. The two approaches are discussed and compared based on their relative advantages and intended applications. The combination of heterogeneous gravity data through integral equations is also outlined in the article.

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Novák, P. Integral inversion of SST data of type GRACE. Stud Geophys Geod 51, 351–367 (2007).

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  • satellite-to-satellite tracking
  • geopotential
  • geoid
  • Green’s integral