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Gravity model improvement using the DORIS tracking system on the SPOT 2 satelliteA high-precision radiometric satellite tracking system, Doppler Orbitography and Radio-positioning Integrated by Satellite system (DORIS), has recently been developed by the French space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). DORIS was designed to provide tracking support for missions such as the joint United States/French TOPEX/Poseidon. As part of the flight testing process, a DORIS package was flown on the French SPOT 2 satellite. A substantial quantity of geodetic quality tracking data was obtained on SPOT 2 from an extensive international DORIS tracking network. These data were analyzed to assess their accuracy and to evaluate the gravitational modeling enhancements provided by these data in combination with the Goddard Earth Model-T3 (GEM-T3) gravitational model. These observations have noise levels of 0.4 to 0.5 mm/s, with few residual systematic effects. Although the SPOT 2 satellite experiences high atmospheric drag forces, the precision and global coverage of the DORIS tracking data have enabled more extensive orbit parameterization to mitigate these effects. As a result, the SPOT 2 orbital errors have been reduced to an estimated radial accuracy in the 10-20 cm RMS range. The addition of these data, which encompass many regions heretofore lacking in precision satellite tracking, has significantly improved GEM-T3 and allowed greatly improved orbit accuracies for Sun-synchronous satellites like SPOT 2 (such as ERS 1 and EOS). Comparison of the ensuing gravity model with other contemporary fields (GRIM-4C2, TEG2B, and OSU91A) provides a means to assess the current state of knowledge of the Earth's gravity field. Thus, the DORIS experiment on SPOT 2 has provided a strong basis for evaluating this new orbit tracking technology and has demonstrated the important contribution of the DORIS network to the success of the TOPEX/Poseidon mission.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Nerem, R. S. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Lerch, F. J. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Williamson, R. G. (Hughes STX Corporation Lanham, MD, United States)
Klosko, S. M. (Hughes STX Corporation Lanham, MD, United States)
Robbins, J. W. (Hughes STX Corporation Lanham, MD, United States)
Patel, G. B. (Hughes STX Corporation Lanham, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
February 10, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 99
Issue: B2
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Distribution Limits