Four Years of Orbit Determination for the GOCE Satellite
Bock, Heike1; Jäggi, Adrian1; Meyer, Ulrich1; Visser, Pieter2; van den IJssel, Jose2; Heinze, Markus3
1Astronomical Institute, University of Bern, SWITZERLAND; 2Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, NETHERLANDS; 3Institut für Astronomische und Physikalische Geodäsie, Technische Universität München, GERMANY
The GOCE High-level Processing Facility is providing the Level 2 orbit products namely Rapid Science Orbit (RSO) and Precise Science Orbit (PSO) since the beginning of the mission. Both products consist of a reduced-dynamic and a kinematic orbit. The quality of these orbit products is assessed and validated by comparison of the different solutions and based on satellite laser ranging measurements. Special focus is given to the quality of the kinematic orbits of the PSO, which are used for the determination of the low degrees of the Earth's gravity field. The impact of increasing solar activity and the lowering of the orbit on the orbit quality are discussed.