Research Projects | Geodetic Space Sensor Technology and Gravity Field

  • Interactions of Low-orbiting Satellites with the Surrounding Ionosphere and Thermosphere Part II (INSIGHT II)
    At our Institute, we provide reduced and calibrated Swarm accelerometer data for the ESA Swarm data processing chain that are the basis for the determination of thermospheric density. This includes the accelerometer calibration by precise orbit determination of Swarm satellites.
    Led by: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jakob Flury
    Team: Dr.-Ing. Akbar Shabanloui
    Year: 2018
    Funding: DFG
    Duration: 2018-2021
  • Swarm ESL/DISC: Support to accelerometer data analysis and processing
    Led by: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jakob Flury
    Team: Dr.-Ing. Sergiy Svitlov, Dr.-Ing. Akbar Shabanloui
    Year: 2016
    Funding: ESA (DTU Space)
    Duration: 2016-2020
  • Disentangling gravitational signals and errors in global gravity field parameter estimation from satellite observations (SFB 1128, C01)
    Range-rate residuals from the estimation of global gravity field parameters from GRACE satellite-to-satellite tracking reveal a range of systematic effects that limit the accuracy of the estimated parameters. The project investigated the characteristics of time series of range-rate residuals. It addressed how drops in the K-band ranging signal-to-noise ratio at specific inter-satellite Doppler frequencies propagate to anomalies in range-rate residuals, as well as anomalies during penumbra transitions. A part of the project at TU Graz, in the group of Prof. Mayer-Gürr, studied options to use wavelet parameters in the SST gravity field parameter estimation.
    Led by: Prof. Jakob Flury
    Team: M.Sc. Saniya Behzadpour
    Year: 2014
    Funding: DFG
    Duration: 2014-2018
  • Fusion of ranging, accelerometry, and attitude sensing in the multi-sensor system for laserinterferometric inter-satellite ranging (CRC 1128, B02)
    The quality of gravity field results obtained from GRACE and GRACE Follow-On inter-satellite ranging does not only depend on the ranging measurement accuracy. Equally important is the quality of the integration in the multi-sensor system consisting of inter-satellite ranging, GNSS orbit tracking, accelerometry, and attitude sensing, and the performance of this system as a whole. The system performance is influenced, e.g., by star camera attitude performance, by the characteristics of satellite pointing jitter coupling, by inaccurate knowledge and instabilities of phase centers and alignments, and by accelerometer signal disturbances.
    Led by: Prof. Jakob Flury, Dr. Gerhard Heinzel
    Team: M.Sc. Santoshkumar Burla, Henry Wegener, Dr. Akbar Shabanloui
    Year: 2014
    Funding: DFG
    Duration: 2014-2018
  • Earth System Mass Transport Mission (e.motion)
    Led by: Jakob Flury
    Year: 2013
  • High-resolution modeling of geoid-quasigeoid separation
    Led by: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jakob Flury
    Year: 2013
  • Highly physical penumbra solar radiation pressure modeling with atmospheric effects
    During penumbra transitions of an Earth orbiter, the solar radiation hitting the satellite is strongly influenced by refraction and absorption of light rays grazing the Earth’s atmosphere. The project implemented solar radiation pressure modeling including these effects. Model results were tested by comparing with measurements of the accelerometers of the GRACE low Earth orbiters.
    Led by: Prof. Jakob Flury, Tamara Bandikova
    Team: Robbie Robertson (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA)
    Year: 2010
    Funding: RISE/QUEST
    Duration: 2010
  • In-Orbit System Analysis of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) Mission
    Precise determination and control of satellite attitude plays a key role for satellite geodesy in general, and for Satellite-to-Satellite Tracking in particular. The project provided the first in-depth characterization of GRACE pointing biases and pointing variations. Investigations addressed star camera inter-boresight angle variations, the weighted camera sensor head combination, as well as error propagation to inter-satellite ranging and accelerometer observations. Results led to significant improvements in the operational GRACE data processing.
    Led by: Prof. Jakob Flury
    Team: Tamara Bandikova
    Year: 2009
    Funding: Exzellenzcluster QUEST
    Duration: 2009-2015
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