A comparison of range and range-rate based GRACE gravity field solutions
In the generation of the standard GRACE gravity fields, the K-Band Ranging (KBR) system data is used in its range-rate mode. Because time derivatives attenuate the gravity signal relative to the data noise at the lower frequencies, it is thought that solutions using range data might have better low-degree (low-frequency) characteristics. The purpose of this work is to detail the methods required to generate range-based solutions, to determine some of the properties of these solutions and then to compare them to range-rate based solutions. It is demonstrated that the range-based solutions are feasible. Different subarc lengths and parameterizations were considered. Although, the most effective combination of subarc lengths and parameterizations are not picked, it is concluded that estimating the mixed periodic term along with bias, bias-rate, bias-acceleration and periodic terms degrades the quality of the range based solution and therefore should not be used. Further study is necessary to pick the optimal combination of subarc length and parameterization which would be used in the time-series analysis.