Gravity Field Recovery Using High-Precision, High–Low Inter-Satellite Links
Past temporal gravity field solutions from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), as well as current solutions from GRACE Follow-On, suffer from temporal aliasing errors due to undersampling of the signal to be recovered (e.g., hydrology), which arise in terms of stripes caused by the north– south observation direction. In this paper, we investigate the potential of the proposed mass variation observing system by high– low inter-satellite links (MOBILE) mission. We quantify the impact of instrument errors of the main sensors (inter-satellite link and accelerometer) and high-frequency tidal and non-tidal gravity signals on achievable performance of the temporal gravity field retrieval. The multi-directional observation geometry of the MOBILE concept with a strong dominance of the radial component result in a close-to-isotropic error behavior, and the retrieved gravity field solutions show reduced temporal aliasing errors of at least 30% for non-tidal, as well as tidal, mass variation signals compared to a low– low satellite pair configuration. The quality of the MOBILE range observations enables the application of extended alternative processing methods leading to further reduction of temporal aliasing errors. The results demonstrate that such a mission can help to get an improved understanding of different components of the Earth system.