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Ocean Surface Topography from Space
SCIENCE
Using GPS to Minimize Temporal and Spatial Errors in Precise Orbit Determination


Author:

William Bertiger - (California Institute of Technology - Jet Propulsion Laboratory)



Abstract:
The position of the satellite in satellite altimetry directly effects the accuracy of the measurement of sea surface height. A radial error of 1 cm in positioning is a one cm error in the sea surface height. Over the years, our team has driven the errors in precise orbit determination (POD) of altimetry satellites down to the sub-cm level. We wish to continue our quest to improve precision orbit determination with a focus on GPS data for altimetry missions, which started Topex/Poseidon and continued through JASON-1 and JASON-2. We will continue to improve our force modeling and data processing techniques applying them to both historical data and the upcoming JASON-3 satellite. For JASON-3 we will perform the necessary on-orbit tuning of the POD force model and data processing to quickly obtain orbits with accuracy comparable to the best determined JASON-2 orbits. Over the life of the four-year proposal, we intend to make significant improvements in the POD of Topex/Poseidon and the JASON series. These efforts will address both random and systematic POD errors including long-term systematic errors effecting climate studies.



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