Latest Gravimetry Stories

2010-05-07 15:50:00

TUM researchers present initial data from successful ESA mission ESA's GOCE satellite has been orbiting the Earth for more than a year and surveying its gravitational field more accurately than any instrument previously. The goal of the researchers "“ including scientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) "“ is to determine the gravitational force in precise detail even in pathless places like the Himalayas. Evaluations of the first data from the satellite indicate...

2009-10-01 08:15:00

Following the launch and in-orbit testing of the most sophisticated gravity mission ever built, ESA's GOCE satellite is now in "Ëœmeasurement mode', mapping tiny variations in Earth's gravity in unprecedented detail. The "ËœGravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer' (GOCE) satellite was launched on 17 March from northern Russia. The data now being received will lead to a better understanding of Earth's gravity, which is important for understanding how our...

2009-08-12 15:16:05

Scientists using satellite data say they've determined northern India's groundwater has been declining by as much as 1 foot per year during the past decade. The researchers, led by Matt Rodell of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, blame the water loss nearly entirely on human activity. Hydrologists said they determined more than 26 cubic miles of groundwater disappeared from aquifers in areas of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and India's capitol territory of Delhi between 2002 and 2008. That's...

2009-06-15 10:30:00

Earth observation satellites in low orbit are continually buffeted by the wisps of atmosphere that remain. Predicting how much air drag a satellite can encounter is critical to the design, cost and operation of a mission "“ an ESA study shows how. Earth's atmosphere is often portrayed as a fragile, finite, thin layer of gas blanketing the planet. However, since the number of atmospheric particles decrease exponentially with altitude, there is no real boundary between the atmosphere and...

2009-05-26 14:40:13

ESA's gravity mission GOCE has achieved a first in the history of satellite technology. The sophisticated electric propulsion system has shown that it is able to keep the satellite completely free from drag as it cuts through the remnants of Earth's atmosphere "“ paving the way for the best gravity data ever. Volker Liebig, ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programs commented, "I am very pleased to see another world premier by GOCE, after having already demonstrated the most sensitive...

2009-04-08 07:25:00

GOCE's highly sensitive gradiometer instrument has been switched on and is producing data. Forming the heart of GOCE, the gradiometer is specifically designed to measure Earth's gravity field with unprecedented accuracy. "We are very pleased with what we have seen from the gradiometer from the moment it was switched on. All accelerometer sensor heads are working in very good health and provide meaningful data," GOCE Project Manager Danilo Muzi said. The gradiometer consists of three pairs of...

2009-04-06 10:15:00

GOCE's sophisticated electric ion propulsion system has been switched on and confirmed to be operating normally, marking another crucial milestone in the satellite's post-launch commissioning phase. The success of GOCE's ultra-sensitive gravity measurements depends on finely controlling the satellite's orbit and speed. The push from the thruster must be just enough to compensate for the tiny amount of drag generated by the few wisps of atmosphere at GOCE's orbital height. No normal jet engine...

2009-03-18 15:02:48

The European Space Agency has placed its first GOCE satellite into orbit, beginning what the ESA calls a new chapter in the history of Earth observation. The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer satellite was lifted into a near-sun-synchronous, low Earth orbit Tuesday by a Rockot launcher from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia. GOCE is the first of a new family of ESA satellites designed to study our planet and its environment in order to enhance our knowledge...

2009-03-18 13:59:07

After liftoff March 17, ESA's GOCE spacecraft is performing very well, having achieved an extremely accurate injection altitude just 1.5 km lower than planned. The Mission Control Team is now working round-the-clock shifts to implement a series of critical check-out procedures. The Mission Control Team at ESOC, ESA's Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, are now conducting the complex and critical 'Launch and Early Operations Phase' (LEOP) for GOCE, which was successfully launched...

2009-03-17 09:40:00

ESA's Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) successfully launched on schedule Tuesday with plans to provide an unprecedented view of Earth's gravity field. GOCE launched via a Russian Rockot vehicle from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia at 1421GMT on Tuesday. Mission managers must now wait for about 90 minutes after lift-off before GOCE separates from its rocket. GOCE was expected to launch on Monday, but technical problems forced mission managers to suspend the...

Word of the Day
  • Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
This word comes from the Swedish 'glogg,' which is an alteration of 'glodgat,' mulled (wine).