GRACE ANU Accelerometer data corrected for thermal effects

TitleGRACE ANU Accelerometer data corrected for thermal effects
Collection TypeCollection
Access PrivilegesResearch School of Earth Sciences
DOI - Digital Object Identifier10.25911/619dcd194df44
Metadata LanguageEnglish
Data LanguageEnglish
Significance StatementGRACE Accelerometer observations corrected for thermal effects
Brief DescriptionThe accelerometer of the GRACE mission contain bias drifts caused by temperature variations within the satellites. McGirr et al. (2021) remove these spurious non-gravitational accelerations to produce improved observations, which we call ACF1B, akin to the ACC1B Level-1B data.
Full DescriptionThe precise calculation of GRACE and GRACE-FO satellite orbits is reliant on knowledge of accurate non-gravitational accelerations acting on the spacecraft. These are measured by the on-board accelerometers that require a thermal environment stabilised to 0.1°C per revolution. However, during periods of the GRACE mission with reduced thermal control, internal temperature variations reached up to 10°C within a revolution, causing low-frequency and non-linear drifts in the accelerometer observations. Additionally, accelerometer bias drifts occurred throughout the GRACE mission as changes in the orientation of the orbital plane with respect to the Earth-to-Sun vector caused the satellites to absorb more or less solar energy. These temperature-induced drifts degrade the quality of mass change estimates, particularly during the latter half of the GRACE mission after thermal control of the satellites was terminated. We filter (in the frequency domain) the accelerometer observations to remove these low-frequency components ( 0.045 mHz). The bias drift removed from the cross-track is then scaled to derive a thermally-based correction for the highly sensitive along-track observations. We then estimate temporal gravity fields using the ANU GRACE software, our filtered accelerometer observations and the range acceleration as the inter-satellite observation. The use of our thermally-corrected accelerometer measurements significantly improves the accuracy of both orbit modelling and gravity field estimation.

The research was funded in part by the Australian Research Council (DP0985080, DP130101766, DP190102382) and an Australian Space Research Project.

A single tar file is provided, containing daily files for GRACE A and GRACE B accelerometer data in Level-1B format. Files are called "ACF1B".

This research was published in an article in Advances in Space Research:

McGirr, R., P. Tregoning, S. Allgeyer, H. McQueen, A. Purcell (2021), Mitigation of thermal noise in GRACE accelerometer observations,

and can be accessed at

Please cite this article when using the filtered ACF1B data provided here.

Contact AddressResearch School of Earth Sciences
The Australian National University
Contact Phone Number+61261255510
Principal InvestigatorRebecca McGirr
SupervisorsProf Paul Tregoning
CollaboratorsDr Sebastien Allgeyer
Dr Herb McQueen
Dr Anthony Purcell
Dr Julia Pfeffer
Dr Simon McClusky
Fields of Research220399 - Philosophy not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective97 - EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE
970104 - Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
Type of Research ActivityPure basic research
Date of data creation2021-11
Year of data publication2021
Publisher for CitationThe Australian National University Data Commons
Access Rightsopen access allowed
Access Rights TypeOpen
Licence TypeNoLicence - No licence
Retention Periodindefinitely
Extent or Quantityone tarfile containing daily GRACE A and GRACE B accelerometer data files, which we call ACF1B, akin to the ACC1B Level-1B files
Data Size64 GB
Data Management PlanNo
Status: Published
Published To:
- Australian National University
- Australian National Data Service
Identifier: anudc:6124
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  • Size: 63.1 GB

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