Using the GOCE star trackers for validating the calibration of its accelerometers

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A method for validating the calibration parameters of the six accelerometers on board the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) from star tracker observations that was originally tested by an end-to-end simulation, has been updated and applied to real data from GOCE. It is shown that the method provides estimates of scale factors for all three axes of the six GOCE accelerometers that are consistent at a level significantly better than 0.01 compared to the a priori calibrated value of 1. In addition, relative accelerometer biases and drift terms were estimated consistent with values obtained by precise orbit determination, where the first GOCE accelerometer served as reference. The calibration results clearly reveal the different behavior of the sensitive and less-sensitive accelerometer axes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geodesy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Dec 2017


  • Accelerometer
  • Bias
  • Bias drift
  • Calibration
  • GOCE
  • Gradiometer
  • Scale factor
  • Star tracker


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