A contrastive study on the influences of radial and three-dimensional satellite gravity gradiometry on the accuracy of the Earth's gravitational field recovery

a State Key Laboratory of Geodesy and Earth's Dynamics, Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430077, China; b Department of Applied Physics, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430081, China

Abstract The accuracy of the Earth's gravitational field measured from the gravity field and steady-state ocean circulation explorer (GOCE), up to 250 degrees, influenced by the radial gravity gradient V_{zz} and three-dimensional gravity gradient V_{ij} from the satellite gravity gradiometry (SGG) are contrastively demonstrated based on the analytical error model and numerical simulation, respectively. Firstly, the new analytical error model of the cumulative geoid height, influenced by the radial gravity gradient V_{zz} and three-dimensional gravity gradient V_{ij} are established, respectively. In 250 degrees, the GOCE cumulative geoid height error measured by the radial gravity gradient V_{zz } is about 2^{1/2} times higher than that measured by the three-dimensional gravity gradient V_{ij}. Secondly, the Earth's gravitational field from GOCE completely up to 250 degrees is recovered using the radial gravity gradient V_{zz} and three-dimensional gravity gradient V_{ij} by numerical simulation, respectively. The study results show that when the measurement error of the gravity gradient is 3×10^{-12}/s^{2}, the cumulative geoid height errors using the radial gravity gradient V_{zz} and three-dimensional gravity gradient V_{ij} are 12.319 cm and 9.295 cm at 250 degrees, respectively. The accuracy of the cumulative geoid height using the three-dimensional gravity gradient V_{ij} is improved by 30%-40% on average compared with that using the radial gravity gradient V_{zz} in 250 degrees. Finally, by mutual verification of the analytical error model and numerical simulation, the orders of magnitude from the accuracies of the Earth's gravitational field recovery make no substantial differences based on the radial and three-dimensional gravity gradients, respectively. Therefore, it is feasible to develop in advance a radial cold-atom interferometric gradiometer with a measurement accuracy of 10^{-13}/s^{2}-10^{-15}/s^{2} for precisely producing the next-generation GOCE Follow-On Earth gravity field model with a high spatial resolution.

Received: 24 February 2012
Revised: 03 May 2012
Published: 01 September 2012

PACS:

91.10.-v

(Geodesy and gravity)

Fund: Project supported by the Main Direction Program of Knowledge Innovation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for Distinguished Young Scholars (Grant No. KZCX2-EW-QN114), the National Natural Science Foundation of China for Young Scholars (Grant Nos. 41004006, 41131067, and 11173049), the Merit-Based Scientific Research Foundation of the State Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China for Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars (Grant No. 2011), the Open Research Fund Program of the Key Laboratory of Computational Geodynamics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. 2011-04), the Frontier Field Program of Knowledge Innovation of Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Open Fund of State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation (Grant No. PLN1113).

Zheng Wei, Hsu Hou-Tse, Zhong Min, Yun Mei-Juan A contrastive study on the influences of radial and three-dimensional satellite gravity gradiometry on the accuracy of the Earth's gravitational field recovery 2012 Chin. Phys. B 21 109101

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