Towards a Next Generation Gravity Field Mission

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 3:25 PM
David N Wiese1, Srinivas V Bettadpur2, Thomas Gruber3, Pieter N Visser4 and Michael M Watkins1, (1)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)Univ Texas - Ctr Space Rsch, Austin, TX, United States, (3)Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany, (4)Delft University of Technology, Delft, 5612, Netherlands
The last several years have seen different international groups conducting studies of the predicted performance of various mission architectures dedicated to measuring time variable gravity. The broad interest in this topic led to the formation of the Inter-agency Gravity Science Working Group (IGSWG), a joint collaboration between NASA and ESA. In this talk, we will provide status updates for ongoing activities on both sides of the Atlantic within, and external to, the IGSWG. We will discuss the most promising concepts in some detail, and the expected scientific improvements relative to GRACE. Additionally, we will compare the improvements realized with these “next-generation” architectures with what might be gained using a single-pair concept with a set of near-optimal constraints to remove correlated error, such as is implemented in the JPL RL05M GRACE mascon solutions.