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Simulation study for the determination of the lunar gravity field from PRARE-L tracking onboard the German LEO mission

Flechtner, F. and Neumayer, K. H. and Kusche, J. and Schäfer, W. and Sohl, F. (2008) Simulation study for the determination of the lunar gravity field from PRARE-L tracking onboard the German LEO mission. Advances in Space Research, 42 (8), pp. 1405-1413. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2008.06.003

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A simulation study has been performed at GFZ Potsdam, which shows the anticipated improvement of the lunar gravity field model with respect to current (LP150Q model) or near-future (SELENE) knowledge in the framework of the planned German Lunar Explorations Orbiter (LEO) mission, based on PRARE-L (Precise Range And Range-rate Equipment – Lunar version) Satellite-to-Satellite (SST) and Satellite-Earth-Satellite (SEST) tracking observations. It is shown that the global mean error of the lunar gravity field can be reduced to less than 0.1 mGal at a spatial resolution of 50 km. In the spectral domain, this means a factor of 10 (long wavelengths) and some 100 (mid to short wavelengths) improvement as compared to predictions for SELENE or a factor of 1000 with respect to LP150Q. Furthermore, a higher spatial resolution of up to 28 km seems feasible and would correspond to a factor of 2–3 improvement of SELENE results. Moreover, PRARE-L is expected to derive the low-degree coefficients of the lunar gravity field with unprecedented accuracy. Considering long mission duration (at least 1 year is planned) this would allow for the first time a precise direct determination of the low-degree tidal Love numbers of the Moon and, in combination with high precision SEST, would provide an experimental basis to study relativistic effects such as the periselenium advance in the Earth–Moon system.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/52902/
Document Type:Article
Title:Simulation study for the determination of the lunar gravity field from PRARE-L tracking onboard the German LEO mission
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Flechtner, F.GFZ Potsdam/ DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Neumayer, K. H.GFZ Potsdam/ DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Kusche, J.GFZ Potsdam, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Schäfer, W.TimeTech GmbH, Stuttgart, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:October 2008
Journal or Publication Title:Advances in Space Research
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.asr.2008.06.003
Page Range:pp. 1405-1413
Keywords:Moon; Lunar gravity field determination; LEO; PRARE-L; Satellite-to-Satellite tracking
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Vergleichende Planetologie (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Physics
Deposited By: Hempel, Stefanie
Deposited On:14 Oct 2008
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 14:39

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