DDA 33rd Meeting, Mt. Hood, OR, April 2002
Session 13. Missions, etc.
Wednesday, April 24, 2002, 8:00-9:50am

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[13.02] The GRACE Mission: Status and Plans

J.C. Ries, B.D. Tapley, S. Bettadpur (The University of Texas at Austin)

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) was selected under the NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) program with the goal of observing the static and time-variable gravity field with an unprecedented level of accuracy over the course of the five-year mission. The GRACE mission, currently scheduled to be launched on March 16, 2002, consists of two satellites, co-orbiting in a polar orbit and separated by 200 km. Each satellite will carry a micro-wave, dual frequency one-way ranging system, which will provide measurements of the differential satellite perturbations due to variations in the gravity field. Each satellite will carry a high precision accelerometer and a GPS receiver to aid in the recovery of the gravity field from the observational data. The extended mission life coupled with the precision of the measurements will provide a static gravity field model which is several orders of magnitude more accurate than current models and will provide measurements of the temporal variations which will provide new insight into mass and momentum transport among the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean and land components. This mission will satisfy the requirements of a number of national and international scientific programs directed at studying global change.

In this paper, we provide a summary status of the project to date, and we will review the science rationale and capabilities of GRACE for the measurement and monitoring of the Earth gravity field changes.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.csr.utexas.edu/grace/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3
© 2002. The American Astronomical Society.