Gravity Field Estimation from Future Space Missions: TOPEX/POSEIDON, Gravity Probe B, and Aristoteles

  • Erricos C. Pavlis
Conference paper
Part of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia book series (IAG SYMPOSIA, volume 110)

Abstract

Accurate knowledge of the gravity field is a firm requirement in any study of Planet Earth. From the long wavelength signal of the mantle processes to the very local features of the continental lithosphere, gravity is a driving and shaping force whose accurate determination has been a major scientific goal for centuries. Space techniques have so far demonstrated their superiority in the global mapping of the gravity field based on ground tracking and altimeter data mostly. Proliferation of global tracking of geopotential missions from the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation has added a new and very powerful source of gravity information to be combined with the primary observations (altimeter data, laser ranging, gradiometry) for gravity field determination to unprecedented accuracies. Numerical and analytical simulation studies of the upcoming geophysically relevant missions that will most likely cany GPS receivers, indicate significant improvements in the accuracy as well as the resolution of the gravity field. TOPEX will improve by some two orders of magnitude the long wavelength part (to degree ~20), while GP-B will contribute in the long as well as medium wavelength part of the spectrum (up to degree ~60). The gradiometer measurements on ARISTOTELES will contribute in the medium and short wavelength regions (from degree ~30 up); GPS tracking of the spacecraft though will provide additional information for the long wavelength gravity and will help resolve it to accuracies comparable to those obtained from GP-B. With the mean rms coefficient error per degree kept below 10−10 geophysical signals such as the post-glacial rebound, tidal variations, and secular and periodic variations of the zonal field rise above the noise level and become readily observable processes.

Keywords

Covariance Lithosphere Landsat Benz 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Benz, R., H. Faulks, and M. Langemann: “ARISTOTELES — A European Approach for an Earth Gravity Field Recovery Mission”, in Proc. of the Chapman Conference on the Progress in the Determination of the Earth’s Gravity Field, R.H. Rapp (ed.), Rept of the Dept. of Geodetic Science and Surveying, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1989.Google Scholar
  2. Bernard, A.: “The Gradio Spaceborne Gravity Gradiometer: Development and Accommodation”, in Proc. of the Chapman Conference on the Progress in the Determination of the Earth’s Gravity Field, R.H. Rapp (ed.), Reports of the Department of Geodetic Science and Surveying, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1989.Google Scholar
  3. Colombo, O.L. “Mapping the Earth’s Gravity Field with Orbiting GPS Receivers”, in Global Positioning System: An Overview, Proc. of the IAG Symposia 102, Bock, Y. and N. Leppard (eds.), the General Meeting of the International Association of Geodesy, Edinburgh, Scotland, August 2–11, 1989, Springer-Verlag, 1990.Google Scholar
  4. Colombo, O.L.: “High Resolution Analysis of Satellite Gradiometry”, in Proc. of the Chapman Conference on the Progress in the Determination of the Earth’s Gravity Field, R.H. Rapp (ed.), Rept. of the Dept. of Geodetic Science and Surveying, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1989.Google Scholar
  5. Lerch, F.J. (1991). “Optimum data weighting and error calibration for estimation of gravitational parameters”, Bulletin Giodisique, 65, pp. 44–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Lerch, F.J., G.B. Patel and S.M. Klosko (1991). “Direct calibration of GEM-T1 with 1071 5°x5° mean gravity anomalies from altimetry”, Manuscripta Geodaetica, 16, pp. 141–147.Google Scholar
  7. Marsh, J. G. et al., (1988). “A New Gravitational Model for the Earth from Satellite Tracking Data: GEM-T1,” J. Geophys. Res., 93, B6, pp. 6169–6215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Marsh, J.G. et al. (1990). “The GEM-T2 Gravitational Model”, J. Geophys. Res., 95, B13, pp. 22, 043–22, 071.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Mashhoon, B., F.W. Hehl, and D.S. Theiss (1984). “On the Gravitational Effects of Rotating Masses: The Thirring-Lense Papers”, General Relativity and Gravitation, V. 16, No. 8, pp. 711–750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. NASA, (1991). The GEM-T3 and T3S Gravitational Models, NASA TM in preparation.Google Scholar
  11. Pavlis, E.C., O.L. Colombo, and D.E. Smith. “Simulation of the GPS/GP-B Geopotential Experiment”, NASA TM, (in preparation).Google Scholar
  12. Rapp, R.H. and N. Pavlis (1990). “The development and Analysis of Geopotential Coefficient Models to Spherical Harmonic Degree 360”, J. Geophys. Res., 95, B13, pp. 21, 885–21,912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Schrama, E. (1990). “Gravity Field Error Analysis: Applications of GPS Receivers and Gradiometers on Low Orbiting Platforms”, NASA TM-100769, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.Google Scholar
  14. Smith, D.E., F.J. Lerch, O.L. Colombo, and C.W.F. Everitt (1989). “Gravity Field Information from Gravity Probe-B”, in Proc. of the Chapman Conference on the Progress in the Determination of the Earth’s Gravity Field, R.H. Rapp (ed.), Reports of the Department of Geodetic Science and Surveying, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.Google Scholar
  15. Yunck, T.P., W.I. Bertiger, S.M. Lichten, and S.C. Wu (1986). “Tracking Landsat-5 by a Differential GPS Technique”, AIAA Paper 86–2215-CP, AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Conference, Williamsburg, VA, August 18–20.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erricos C. Pavlis
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Astronomy ProgramUniversity of MarylandUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory for Terrestrial PhysicsNASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA

Personalised recommendations