The GRACE Gravity Sensor System

  • Björn FrommknechtEmail author
  • Anja Schlicht
Part of the Advanced Technologies in Earth Sciences book series (ATES)


This chapter is dedicated to the GRACE Gravity Sensor System. In the following, a brief description of the individual components of the sensor system is given, followed by an overview of the interaction of the sensor system with the environment of the GRACE satellites and a brief description of the gravitational and non-gravitational forces acting on the satellites. As an example, the sensor performance of the accelerometer is estimated by real data analysis. It is demonstrated that the sensor performance agrees with its specification and that the derived data processing model enhancements currently yield no amelioration of the derived gravity field models quality.


GRACE Sensor analysis Atmosphere force models 



This is publication no. GEOTECH-1266 of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN program of the BMBF, grant 03F0423B.


  1. Flury J (2004) Beiträge zur Signalanalyse der GRACE L1a Akzelerometerdaten.Google Scholar
  2. Flury J, Bettadpur S, Tapley B (2008) Precise accelerometry onboard the GRACE gravity field satellite mission. Adv. Space Res., 42, 1414–1423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Frommknecht B (2009) Integrated Sensor Analysis of the GRACE Mission, SVH Publishing, Saarbrücken.Google Scholar
  4. Hudson D (2003) In-Flight Characterization and Calibration of the SuperSTAR Accelerometer. Thesis, University of Texas, Austin.Google Scholar
  5. Josselin V, Touboul P, Kielbasa R (1999) Capacitive detection scheme for space accelerometers. Appl. Sens. Actuators, Elsevier Science Ltd., 78, 92–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Jørgenson J (1999) In-Orbit Performance of a Fully Autonomous Star Tracker. Technical Report University of Denmark.Google Scholar
  7. Kim J (2000) Simulation Study of a Low-Low Satellite-to-Satellite Tracking Mission. Technical Report University of Texas at Austin.Google Scholar
  8. Rothacher M (2001) Vorlesungsskript Messmethoden der Physikalischen Geodäsie.Google Scholar
  9. Stanton R, Bettadpur S, Dunn C, Renner K-P, Watkins M (1998) GRACE Science \& Mission Requirements Document. Technical Report 327-200 Jet Propulsion Laboratory.Google Scholar
  10. Thomas J (1999) An Analysis of the Gravity Field Estimation Based on Dual-1-Way Intersatellite Biased Ranging. Technical Report Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena.Google Scholar
  11. Wertz J-R (1991) Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London.Google Scholar
  12. Wu S-C, Kruizinga G, Bertinger W (2006) Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for GRACE Level-1B Data Processing. V1.2 Technical Report JPL D-27672 Jet Propulsion Laboratory.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RHEA S.A.Louvain La NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.ESA/ESRINFrascatiItaly
  3. 3.Institut für Astronomische und Physikalische Geodäsie (IAPG), Technische Universität MünchenMünchenGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Astronomical and Physical GeodesyMünchenGermany

Personalised recommendations