GOCE precise orbit determination for the entire Mission – challenges in the final mission phase

Jäggi, Adrian; Bock, Heike; Meyer, Ulrich (2014). GOCE precise orbit determination for the entire Mission – challenges in the final mission phase. ESA Special Publications 728, Papers from the 5th International GOCE User Workshop, Paris, France, November 2014..

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The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), ESA’s first Earth Explorer core mission, was launched on March 17, 2009 into a sunsynchronous dusk-dawn orbit and eventually re-entered into the Earth’s atmosphere on November 11, 2013. A precise science orbit (PSO) product was provided by the GOCE High-level Processing Facility (HPF) from the GPS high-low Satellite-to-Satellite Tracking (hl-SST) data from the beginning until the very last days of the mission. We recapitulate the PSO procedure and refer to the results achieved until the official end of the GOCE mission on October 21, 2013, where independent validations with Satellite Laser ranging (SLR) measurements confirmed a high quality of the PSO product of about 2 cm 1-D RMS. We then focus on the period after the official end of the mission, where orbits could still be determined thanks to the continuously running GPS receivers delivering high quality data until a few hours before the re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. We address the challenges encountered for orbit determination during these last days and report on adaptions in the PSO procedure to also obtain good orbit results at the unprecedented low orbital altitudes below 224 km.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Jäggi, Adrian, Bock, Heike, Meyer, Ulrich


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Pierre Fridez

Date Deposited:

09 Jun 2015 08:46

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:47





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