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Impact of GPS antenna phase center and code residual variation maps on orbit and baseline determination of GRACE


Precision Orbit Determination (POD) is a prerequisite for the success of many Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellite missions. With high-quality, dual-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, typically precisions of the order of a few cm are possible for single-satellite POD, and of a few mm for relative POD of formation flying spacecraft with baselines up to hundreds of km. To achieve the best precision, the use of Phase Center Variation (PCV) maps is indispensable. For LEO GPS receivers, often a-priori PCV maps are obtained by a pre-launch ground campaign, which is not able to represent the real space-borne environment of satellites. Therefore, in-flight calibration of the GPS antenna is more widely conducted.