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Error analyses of CHAMP data for recovery of the Earth's gravity field

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip Moore, James Turner, Dr Qiang Zhang


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A preliminary commission error analysis whereby orbit perturbation theory and other techniques are used to assess and predict the recovery of the Earth's gravity field from the challenging microsatellite payload (CHAMP) mission is developed and implemented. With CHAMP launched in July 2000, accumulated evidence is now available to quantify the errors in the recovery procedure including the orbital precision from GPS, attitude errors, accelerometer noise and thruster mismatch/misalignment. For the latter, numerical integrations using a variable length single-step Runge-Kutta integrator and a fixed length multi-step method are compared to assess the error associated with assuming that the thruster misalignment can be spread uniformly across a step interval. Error degree variances from simulated studies are compared to results from a recently released CHAMP-based gravity field, EIGENIS. It is seen that the orbital positioning, as derived from the onboard GPS receiver, is critical, with accelerometer noise contributing at a lower level. Attitude error, at currently quoted accuracy, is not significant as an error source.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moore P, Turner JF, Qiang Z

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Geodesy

Year: 2003

Volume: 77

Issue: 7-8

Pages: 369-380

ISSN (print): 0949-7714

ISSN (electronic): 1432-1394

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00190-003-0340-7


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