Earth Gravity Field from Space - from Sensors to Earth Sciences
In March 2002, a workshop on Earth Gravity Field from Space was held at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland. Following the success of this event, a book has just been published in the form of a collection of papers resulting from this workshop.
The book, ‘Earth Gravity Field from Space – from Sensors to Earth Sciences’, assesses the latest developments in research on the Earth’s gravity field from space. “The preparation of the book is an important milestone as it brought together top scientists in the fields of satellite geodesy and Earth sciences. It provides an extremely useful snapshot of the current ‘state of the art’ in making satellite gravity measurements, and in terms of the benefits of gravity data in the study of our planet Earth”, said Mark Drinkwater, one of the Editors and ESA Project Scientists working on the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) mission.
The book is a result of the workshop in Switzerland, where around 50 experts from the fields of satellite geodesy, gravity field modelling, solid Earth physics and oceanography, gathered to assess new developments in gravity field research as a consequence of the space missions currently in orbit or soon to be launched. The satellite gravity missions CHAMP (2000-present) and GRACE (2002-2006), both currently in orbit, have already made significant advances in the global gravity field model, and GRACE is, for the first time, ‘weighing’ month-to-month variations in the Earth’s gravity field.
The ESA GOCE mission, due for launch in 2006, will further enhance our knowledge of the Earth’s gravity field and geoid by orders of magnitude. Together, these exciting new data open up a whole range of fascinating new possibilities for solid Earth physics, oceanography, geodesy and sea-level research. This new generation of Earth gravity missions each combine new sensor concepts for gravity field measurement, orbit and attitude control and orbit determination.
Earth Gravity Field from Space – from Sensors to Earth Sciences is the latest publication in the ISSI Space Science Series. The book contains more than 37 peer reviewed scientific papers and is divided into 7 sections: Precise Orbit Determination and Gravity Field Modelling; Solid Earth Physics; Ocean Circulation, Geodesy, Sea Level, and Future Concepts. The final section is dedicated to ESA’s GOCE mission and the new era in Earth Sciences that is made possible by the new gravity missions.