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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 17 Aug 2018

Regular paper | 17 Aug 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

Mitigation of ionospheric signatures in Swarm GPS gravity field estimation using weighting strategies

Lucas Schreiter, Daniel Arnold, Veerle Sterken, and Adrian Jäggi Lucas Schreiter et al.
  • Astronomical Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3001 Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. Even though ESA's three-satellite mission Swarm is primarily a magnetic field mission, it became more and more important as gravity field mission. Located in a low earth orbit with altitudes of 460 km for Swarm A and Swarm C and 530km for Swarm B, after the commissioning phase, and equipped with geodetic-type dual frequency GPS receivers, it is suitable for gravity field computation. Of course the Swarm GPS-only gravity fields are not as good as the gravity fields derived from the ultra precise GRACE K-Band measurements, but due to the end of the GRACE mission in October 2017, data gaps in the previous months, and the gap between GRACE and the recently launched GRACE Follow-On mission, Swarm gravity fields became important to maintain a continuous time series and bridge the gap. By validating the Swarm gravity fields to the GRACE gravity fields, systematic errors have been observed, especially around the geomagnetic equator. These errors are already visible in the kinematic positioning from where they propagate into the gravity field solutions.

We investigate these systematic errors by analyzing the geometry-free linear combination of the GPS carrier phase observations. Based on this we present different weighting schemes and investigate their impact on the gravity field solutions in order to assess the success of different mitigation strategies.

Lucas Schreiter et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Lucas Schreiter et al.
Lucas Schreiter et al.
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Short summary
Comparing Swarm GPS-only gravity fields to the ultra precise GRACE K-Band gravity fields schematic errors occur around the geomagnetic equator. Due to the end of the GRACE mission, and the gap to the GRACE-FO Mission, only Swarm can provide a continuous time series of gravity fields. We present different and assess different approaches to remove the schematic errors and thus improve the quality of the Swarm gravity fields.
Comparing Swarm GPS-only gravity fields to the ultra precise GRACE K-Band gravity fields...