BackBack to listForwardGravity field measuring systems 

Details on this mission type
Full name Gravity field measuring systems
Definition The long-wavelength components of the Earth's gravity field are measured by positioning systems and altimeters (radar and lidar). The short-wavelength components are measured by specific missions embarking accelerometers or, in some case, exploiting several satellites in coordinated orbits to measure variations of their relative positions.
Relevant instruments and their contribution

The sorting column describes how the instruments, by design, have the potential to contribute to certain pre-determined capabilities, assuming nominal operation of space and ground segments. For this particular capability, instrument performance is considered to be driven by:

  • the measurement of short-wave components, anomalies and perturbations of the gravity field, through accelerometers and related techniques
  • the measurement of long-wave components of the gravity field, through precise orbitography and radar or lidar altimetry.

 Sorting criteria and colour code:

  1. Satellite-to-satellite tracking system; OR accelerometer/gradiometer.
  2. Dedicated satellite equipped by laser retroreflectors.
  3. Radar altimeter; OR lidar altimeter.
  4. Array of laser retroreflectors; OR radio positioning system; OR GNSS receiver.
  5. Star tracker.