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Open AccessArticle

Gravity Field Model Determination Based on GOCE Satellite Point-Wise Accelerations Estimated from Onboard Carrier Phase Observations

School of Geodesy and Geomatics, Wuhan University, 129 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430079, China
Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy of Ministry of Education, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(12), 1420;
Received: 22 April 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
GPS-based, satellite-to-satellite tracking observations have been extensively used to elaborate the long-scale features of the Earth’s gravity field from dedicated satellite gravity missions. We proposed compiling a satellite gravity field model from Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite accelerations directly estimated from the onboard GPS data using the point-wise acceleration approach, known as the carrier phase differentiation method. First, we composed the phase accelerations from the onboard carrier phase observations based on the sixth-order seven-point differentiator, which can eliminate the carrier phase ambiguity for Low Earth Orbiter (LEO). Next, the three-dimensional (3D) accelerations of the GOCE satellite were estimated from the derived phase accelerations as well as GPS satellite ephemeris and precise clock products. Finally, a global gravity field model up to the degree and order (d/o) 130 was compiled from the 71 days and nearly 2.5 years of 3D satellite accelerations. We also recovered three gravity field models up to d/o 130 from the accelerations derived by differentiating the kinematic orbits of European Space Agency (ESA), Graz, and School of Geodesy and Geomatics (SGG), which was the orbit differentiation method. We analyzed the accuracies of the derived accelerations and the recovered gravity field models based on the carrier phase differentiation method and orbit differentiation method in time, frequency, and spatial domain. The results showed that the carrier phase derived acceleration observations had better accuracy than those derived from kinematic orbits. The accuracy of the recovered gravity field model based on the carrier phase differentiation method using 2.5 years observations was higher than that of the orbit differentiation solutions for degrees greater than 70, and worse than Graz-orbit solution for degrees less than 70. The cumulative geoid height errors of carrier phase, ESA-orbit, and Graz-orbit solutions up to degree and order 130 were 17.70cm, 21.43 cm, and 22.11 cm, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: Earth’s gravity field; GPS; GOCE; point-wise acceleration approach Earth’s gravity field; GPS; GOCE; point-wise acceleration approach
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, T.; Li, J.; Xu, X.; Wei, H.; Kuang, K.; Zhao, Y. Gravity Field Model Determination Based on GOCE Satellite Point-Wise Accelerations Estimated from Onboard Carrier Phase Observations. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1420.

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