Precise Orbit Determination of Earths Satellites for Climate Change Investigation
Vespe ; F
Jan - 2010

journal : 38th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Held 18-15 July 2010, in Bremen, Germany
type: Article Journal

The tremendous improvement of the gravity field models which we are achieving with the last Earths satellite missions like, CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE devoted to its recovery could make feasibile the use of precise orbit determination (POD) of Earth satellites as a tool for sensing global changes of some key atmosphere parameters like refractivity and extinction. Such improvements indeed, coupled with the huge number of running Earths satellites and combinations of their orbital parameters (namely the nodes) in a gravity field free fashion (hereafter GFF) can magnify the solar radiation pressure acting on medium earth orbit satellites :GPS, Etalon and, in near real future GALILEO and its smooth modulation through the Earths atmosphere (penumbra). We would remind that The GFF technique is able to cancel out with n satellite orbital parameters the first n-1 even zonal harmonics of the gravity field. Previously it was demonstrated that the signal we want to detect could in principle emerge from the noise threshold but, more refined models of the atmosphere would be needed to perform a more subtle analysis. So we will re-compute the signal features of penumbra by applying more refined atmospheric models. The analysis will be performed by including in GFF Earths satellites equipped with DORIS systems (Jason, Spot 2-3-4-5, ENVISAT etc.) other than those ranged with SLR and GPS. The introduction of DORIS tracked satellites indeed will allow to cancel higher and higher order of even zonal harmonics and will make still more favourable the signal to noise budget. The analysis will be performed over a time span of at least few tens of years just to enhance probable climate signatures.

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