Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 341–359 | Cite as

Highly-reduced dynamic orbits and their use for global gravity field recovery: A simulation study for GOCE

  • A. JäggiEmail author
  • H. Bock
  • R. Pail
  • H. Goiginger


The so-called highly reduced-dynamic (HRD) orbit determination strategy and its use for the determination of the Earth’s gravitational field are analyzed. We discuss the functional model for the generation of HRD orbits, which are a compromise of the two extreme cases of dynamic and purely geometrically determined kinematic orbits. For gravity field recovery the energy integral approach is applied, which is based on the law of energy conservation in a closed system. The potential of HRD orbits for gravity field determination is studied in the frame of a simulated test environment based on a realistic GOCE orbit configuration. The results are analyzed, assessed, and compared with the respective reference solutions based on a kinematic orbit scenario. The main advantage of HRD orbits is the fact that they contain orbit velocity information, thus avoiding numerical differentiation on the orbit positions. The error characteristics are usually much smoother, and the computation of gravity field solutions is more efficient, because less densely sampled orbit information is sufficient. On the other hand, the main drawback of HRD orbits is that they contain external gravity field information, and thus yield the danger to obtain gravity field results which are biased towards this prior information.

Key words

precise orbit determination kinematic approach reduced-dynamic approach energy integral approach a-priori information GPS 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Geophysics of the ASCR, v.v.i 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Astronomical InstituteUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Navigation and Satellite GeodesyTU GrazGrazAustria

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