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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(2), 200;

Combination Analysis of Future Polar-Type Gravity Mission and GRACE Follow-On

College of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Institute of Geodesy and Geo-information, University of Bonn, 53115 Bonn, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing by Satellite Gravimetry)
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Thanks to the unprecedented success of Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), its successive mission GRACE Follow-On (GFO) has been in orbit since May 2018 to continue measuring the Earth’s mass transport. In order to possibly enhance GFO in terms of mass transport estimates, four orbit configurations of future polar-type gravity mission (FPG) (with the same payload accuracy and orbit parameters as GRACE, but differing in orbit inclination) are investigated by full-scale simulations in both standalone and jointly with GFO. The results demonstrate that the retrograde orbit modes used in FPG are generally superior to prograde in terms of gravity field estimation in the case of a joint GFO configuration. Considering the FPG’s independent capability, the orbit configurations with 89- and 91-degree inclinations (namely FPG-89 and FPG-91) are further analyzed by joint GFO monthly gravity field models over the period of one-year. Our analyses show that the FPG-91 basically outperforms the FPG-89 in mass change estimates, especially at the medium- and low-latitude regions. Compared to GFO & FPG-89, about 22% noise reduction over the ocean area and 17% over land areas are achieved by the GFO & FPG-91 combined model. Therefore, the FPG-91 is worthy to be recommended for the further orbit design of FPGs. View Full-Text
Keywords: gravity field recovery; GRACE Follow-On; orbit configuration; synergistic observation gravity field recovery; GRACE Follow-On; orbit configuration; synergistic observation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Nie, Y.; Shen, Y.; Chen, Q. Combination Analysis of Future Polar-Type Gravity Mission and GRACE Follow-On. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 200.

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