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New Thermosphere Neutral Mass Density and Crosswind Datasets from CHAMP, GRACE, and GRACE-FO

Siemes, Christian and Borries, Claudia and Bruinsma, Sean and Fernandez-Gomez, Isabel and Hładczuk, Natalia and van den IJssel, Jose and Kodikara, Timothy and Vielberg, Kristin and Visser, Pieter (2023) New Thermosphere Neutral Mass Density and Crosswind Datasets from CHAMP, GRACE, and GRACE-FO. Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate. EDP Sciences. doi: 10.1051/swsc/2023014. ISSN 2115-7251.

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Official URL: https://www.swsc-journal.org/component/article?access=doi&doi=10.1051/swsc/2023014


We present new neutral mass density and crosswind observations for the CHAMP, GRACE, and GRACE-FO missions, filling the last gaps in our database of accelerometer-derived thermosphere observations. For consistency, we processed the data over the entire lifetime of these missions, noting that the results for GRACE in 2011–2017 and GRACE-FO are entirely new. All accelerometer data are newly calibrated. We modeled the temperature-induced bias variations for the GRACE accelerometer data to counter the detrimental effects of the accelerometer thermal control deactivation in April 2011. Further, we developed a new radiation pressure model, which uses ray tracing to account for shadowing and multiple reflections and calculates the satellite’s thermal emissions based on the illumination history. The advances in calibration and radiation pressure modeling are essential when the radiation pressure acceleration is significant compared to the aerodynamic one above 450 km altitude during low solar activity, where the GRACE and GRACE-FO satellites spent a considerable fraction of their mission lifetime. The mean of the new density observations changes only marginally, but their standard deviation shows a substantial reduction compared to thermosphere models, up to 15% for GRACE in 2009. The mean and standard deviation of the new GRACE-FO density observations are in good agreement with the GRACE observations. The GRACE and CHAMP crosswind observations agree well with the physics-based TIE-GCM winds, particularly the polar wind patterns. The mean observed crosswind is a few tens of m · s−1 larger than the model one, which we attribute primarily to the crosswind errors being positive by the definition of the retrieval algorithm. The correlation between observed and model crosswind is about 60%, except for GRACE in 2004–2011 when the signal was too small to retrieve crosswinds reliably.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/195131/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:The Thermosphere Observations from Low Earth Orbiting Satellites (TOLEOS) project was funded by ESA via the Swarm Data, Innovation and Science Cluster (DISC), sub-contract number SW-CO-DTU-GS-129.
Title:New Thermosphere Neutral Mass Density and Crosswind Datasets from CHAMP, GRACE, and GRACE-FO
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Siemes, ChristianTU Delfthttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8316-1130UNSPECIFIED
Borries, ClaudiaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9948-3353UNSPECIFIED
Fernandez-Gomez, IsabelUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7623-9219UNSPECIFIED
Kodikara, TimothyUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4099-9966UNSPECIFIED
Vielberg, KristinInstitute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn, Nussallee 17, 53115 Bonn, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:EDP Sciences
Keywords:Thermosphere, neutral mass density observations, neutral wind observations, accelerometer data calibration, radiation pressure modeling
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Solar-Terrestrial Physics SO
Location: Neustrelitz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute for Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Deposited By: Kodikara, Dr Timothy
Deposited On:22 May 2023 14:50
Last Modified:22 May 2023 14:50

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