Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 93, Issue 10, pp 1881–1896 | Cite as

Results from a GRACE/GRACE-FO attitude reconstruction Kalman filter

  • Nate Harvey
  • Carly SakumuraEmail author
Original Article


This paper outlines JPL’s V03 GRACE attitude processing strategy, characterizes the accelerometer angular measurement error profile, analyzes impact upon GRACE time-varying gravity field products as part of a complete mission reprocessing campaign, and presents implications for linear acceleration measurements. A Kalman filter-based strategy fuses star camera and angular acceleration measurements to reconstruct spacecraft attitude with reduced high-frequency noise and fewer gaps and corrects a pair of processing errors. Running data from tailored accelerometer characterization maneuvers in 2017, K-band calibration maneuvers in 2003, and nominal mission operations through our Kalman filter, estimated aliasing factors from linear to angular acceleration account for multiple forms of observed noise. During most of the mission, V03 produced very limited gains in our gravity field products, but during early and late mission high error regimes the reduction in high-frequency attitude noise substantially damped systematic gravity solution effects (latitudinal bands) and noise (stripes).


GRACE Attitude reconstruction Accelerometer characterization 



Our thanks to Tamara Bandikova, Willy Bertiger, Gerard Kruizinga, Chris McCullough, David Wiese, and Dah-Ning Yuan for their help in our analysis of GRACE accelerometer, attitude, and gravity data as well as contributions to figures in this paper. Insight from Bruno Christophe and Bernard Foulon (ONERA) proved invaluable in our evaluation of accelerometer characteristics. At very short notice, Jaap Herman (DLR-GSOC) commanded and evaluated GRACE attitude characterization maneuvers. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Agency. Copyright 2018 California Institute of Technology. U.S. Government sponsorship acknowledged


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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