GOCE Coverage Pattern
Barat, Itziar; Duesmann, Berthyl
The importance of having dense and homogeneous coverage pattern to produce good geopotential coefficients is well known in gravity missions. In March 2009, when GOCE was launched, the target was to ensure at least one gravity gradient measurement for each 40km bin. At that time there were doubts if this coverage requirements could be fulfilled at all. Now, four years later, it is a fact that for the GOCE mission its coverage requirements have been achieved. Indeed they have been exceeded thanks to the accurate control made possible by the GOCE platform. The maximum separation between two consecutive measurements is less than 15 km. Furthermore, the same points on Earth have been overflown in repeated occasions either at the same or at different altitudes. This paper will concentrate on the obtained coverage results, indicating to the scientific users the potential of this data set in their analysis.