Influence of Ground-Track Pattern Distribution of Double Inline Satellite Pair on Quality of the Gravity Solutions
Iran Pour, Siavash; Reubelt, Tilo; Sneeuw, Nico
University of Stuttgart, GERMANY

The launch of the GRACE mission generated a broad interest within the geophysical community in monitoring temporal gravity field. Due to the limited lifetime of GRACE, several studies searching for the optimal GRACE follow-on and future satellite gravity missions have been conducted. The use of alternative formations (e.g. Pendulum, Cartwheel, LISA) and double inline (GRACE-like) pair missions with different orbit configurations have been suggested as a possible substitute of the current GRACE mission. The studies look for orbital parameters' optimization, where the technical challenges and financial issues also restrict the choice of potential scenarios. In particular, the technical challenges within the performance of alternative formations focuses attention onto dual inline pair missions, which is, in particular, expected by the cooperation between national space agencies.

When looking for optimal double GRACE-like missions, one important subject is to investigate the effect of the ground-track pattern of such missions on the quality of gravity recovery. The investigation of pattern distribution influence on the recovery quality may then lead to better understanding of orbital parameters to be optimized. This study, therefore, investigates the longitudinal-latitudinal sampling by different repeat orbits of dual inline missions and their influences on the quality of the gravity solutions.