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Gravity field error analysis: Applications of GPS receivers and gradiometers on low orbiting platformsThe concept of a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver as a tracking facility and a gradiometer as a separate instrument on a low orbiting platform offers a unique tool to map the Earth's gravitational field with unprecedented accuracies. The former technique allows determination of the spacecraft's ephemeris at any epoch to within 3 to 10 cm, the latter permits the measurement of the tensor of second order derivatives of the gravity field to within 0.01 to 0.0001 Eotvos units depending on the type of gradiometer. First, a variety of error sources in gradiometry where emphasis is placed on the rotational problem pursuing as well a static as a dynamic approach is described. Next, an analytical technique is described and applied for an error analysis of gravity field parameters from gradiometer and GPS observation types. Results are discussed for various configurations proposed on Topex/Poseidon, Gravity Probe-B, and Aristoteles, indicating that GPS only solutions may be computed up to degree and order 35, 55, and 85 respectively, whereas a combined GPS/gradiometer experiment on Aristoteles may result in an acceptable solution up to degree and order 240.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Schrama, E.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1990
Subject Category
Geosciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:100769
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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