66

FRANÇOIS BARLIER* AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE**

A new look at planet Earth: Satellite
geodesy and geosciences

INTRODUCTION main problem was the poor quality of observations. The need
for a global perspective was such that a dedicated planetary
Yes! The Earth is also a planet! In the recent past, looking program was undertaken and implemented in 1957–1958;
back at the long list of scientific space missions launched the objective of this IGY (International Geophysical Year)
by space agencies, you have the impression that neither any was to collect as many geophysical measurements as possi-
celestial body, nor astronomical or geophysical theme has ble from world-wide well distributed sites. Although success-
not been covered. But looking more carefully, you soon ful in some fields it also showed the limits of this approach
realize that something is missing … the Earth! over the long term. As a coincidence, the first SPUTNIK
It is not the case that space is ignoring the Earth; indeed, satellite was launched in October 1957 and the government
huge programs are devoted to Earth observations, but they of USSR claimed officially that it had to be considered as a
are designed as if there was no need for a scientific study of contribution to IGY, not a bad vision indeed.
our planet, itself. The space agencies recently reconsidered their programs
This equivocation is not just a semantic one. It seems and made the knowledge of the Earth a top priority. ESA
that the Moon or other planets in the solar system deserve (European Space Agency) started a new program called
more attention than the Earth. As an example, the Magellan “Earth Living Planet” while NASA (National Aeronautics
mission made a complete mapping of the surface of Venus and Space Administration) started a huge program devoted
which took five years with a SAR instrument (Synthetic explicitly to Earth sciences. To be even more explicit, they
Aperture Radar); several years before such an instrument named it “Destination Earth”; this movement was world-
could have very usefully flown around the Earth. wide. Today the space agencies try to optimise their participa-
Now, there is a new appeal for understanding the Earth, tion in a common endeavour through such ad hoc committees
and the situation has changed drastically. The Chernobyl as CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites).
accident caused a strong public reaction and created a After 35 years of satellite geodesy and oceanography, our
widespread feeling that the atmosphere knows no borders. objective is to show that in spite of the absence of dedicated
The recent large-scale ocean-atmosphere movements, like important programs in Earth physics from space, there was
the ENSO (El Niño), widely discussed on by TV channels, a de facto strategy. It began at the time when the necessity to
contributes to public awareness. undertake the study of the Earth became apparent and has
The scientific community was perfectly aware of the lack produced significant results, as well as developed both tools
of knowledge of the Earth as a planet and recognised that the and a living and multi-disciplinary community ready to go.
We will show this development that through a historical
* Observatoire de la Côte d’ Azur, Grasse, France overview of activities over the past 35 years, presenting the
** Centre National d’ Etudes Spatiales, Toulouse, France different phases and major turns in Earth-space science.

François Barlier and Michel Lefebvre, The Century of Space Science, 1–29
© 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in The Netherlands.

2 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE

1. FROM GEODESY TO SATELLITE GEODESY neighbouring countries differed in several cases by an
BEFORE 1957 amount larger than the internal error; it was simply coming
from the use of different reference systems. The above
Geodesy is one of the oldest disciplines in the IUGG comments do not aim at making any assessment of classical
(International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics) and has geodesy but rather at putting emphasis on the limitations of
its roots in the early stages of civilization. When you live classical geodetic systems at the scale of the Earth. Now,
somewhere, the first thing to do is to know where you are, satellite is there but how to use it at the best?
what is your local environment like, then to share your
views with your neighbours, extend your perspective from
local to regional and finally to planetary scales. 2. TRANSITION EXPLORATORY PHASE
The Chamber’s dictionary gives the following definition 1957–1970
of geodesy: “it measures the Earth and its parts on a larger
scale”. The etymology from Greek tells us that geodesy 2.1 The geometrical optical phase: A too obvious
comes from GE, the Earth and DAIEIN to share. Indeed approach
what we have now to share is the EARTH. First of all, how to observe? At first, the favoured method
When Sputnik was launched in October 4, 1957, geodesy of observation was optical. Observatories had or developed
was confined to improving the accuracy of measurements as big cameras and made photographs of artificial satellites
well as increasing the resolution of the grid of networks. A lightened by the Sun, the spatial reference being provided
high level of expertise existed and was exercised in special- by the surrounding stars. The first obvious idea was to use a
ized geodetic institutes, most of them sponsored by govern- satellite as a target, high enough to make intercontinental
ments. The links with equivalent bodies working on military links that seem the most obviously missing element in geo-
objectives have been varied but on average were well estab- desy and to have access to the 3D dimension. Everybody
lished, such that the release of data and results was often pre- was enthusiastic; nobody realised that a satellite indeed
vented. Concerning the shape of the Earth and its gravity ignores national boundaries: we remember the shock of
field, numbers will give some ideas of the status. At the level some authorities, military or otherwise, when scientists
of the continental formations, there were some efforts to get published the co-ordinates of Malvern (UK) and Nice (FR),
homogeneous sets of parameters representing at best the breaking for ever the long tradition to keep such data and
results obtained by triangulation and by astrogeodesy on the positions secret.
shape of the Earth and to get coherent geodetic systems like The geometrical approach was limited by the magnitude
the NAD datum (North American Datum) or the EUR 50 of the satellite. A first solution was to launch some dedi-
datum (European datum). The relative accuracy, at least for cated satellites shaped like balloons with a large diameter,
the horizontal components, was acceptable inside a given about 25 meters, such as the ECHO 1 and 2 satellites (Note:
system and when close to the main fundamental networks it was the common approach used in a telecommunication
was of the order of 105 or 106 (1 meter over 1000 kilome- experiment, the expectation being to use the satellite as a
ters). However, it was uncertain in the limits of networks reflector for electromagnetic waves) The visual magnitude
when no closure was available (as an example the south of of ECHO satellites was around, 1, so that they were acces-
Spain relative to EUR 50). The precision of vertical angle sible to many small existing cameras, allowing the increase
measurements was also limited by the atmospheric refraction. in the number of stations within the nets to link.
The knowledge of the relationships between the origin
of these systems and the center of mass of the Earth was The two ECHO satellites were so bright that it was possible
poor, such that the absolute positions of the stations were for anybody to watch them visually with the naked eye, and to
maybe in error up to several hundred meters. No data were follow their motion across the stars. It was attractive enough
available over the oceans that are over 70% of the Earth to drive the newspapers to publish the times that these “New
surface. Over the continents, the data were sparse in many Stars”, passed over head.
areas. Moreover, the networks were measured by discrete Several million people watched and acquired a personal
campaigns at different times with different instruments by physical feeling for the existence of satellites and became
different teams. Despite the high quality of the actors, there aware that we were entering the space age. The visual obser-
were some intrinsic limitations. The users had no other way vations were not just curiosities; networks of amateurs
observed with some optical instruments and provided the
than asking to their national geodetic institutes to make the
directions, elevation and azimuth to some centers using these
geodetic links; the advantage was to have them made observations, especially from very low altitude satellites. The
by professionals and well controlled. But the lack of a uni- result was the first models of the Earth’s gravity field and of
fied system was still a problem. Even in the 1960s the posi- the upper atmosphere density.
tion of the same radar antenna given by 2 institutes from

the motion of the satellite is an important component in many respects. these types of observations are no longer used (except for specific applications.1 Photographic observations axis of rotation as well as the speed of rotation (the parame- ters of the Earth rotation) vary over time. so you need to process by using iterations. PAGEOS. – the acting forces on the satellite (gravity field of the sive campaigns. the position of the 2. but there is also a major disadvantage. It was successful and a world-wide network was Figure 1 A simplified scheme for geodesy. satellite motion provide the determination of the acting G is the center of mass of the Earth. It is by radar altimeters in oceanography. and local 2. You meters level. Photographic observations were the only precise material GM characterises the motion of the satellite. directions whatever. a better designed and more stable meters considered as unknowns. The only way was to integrate enough light by a longer time of exposure. air drag. This sampling can be optimized using the orbital parameters that can be The general principles of satellite geodesy may be depicted adjusted accordingly. examine all the efforts made. such as. that means to use G y cameras able to track the satellite during its pass. lite) at a reference time. So the GSM game is easy to explain.3. range rate. solid and ocean tides. S is the position of a tracking station. such The unknowns are: the observation of space debris). an unknown to be determined and it must be referred to a unified homogeneous Earth reference system. a more optimized dedicated program was tions relating quantities (the measurements) to some para- undertaken. those provided GS corresponds to the position of the tracking station. Then the At any time GM  GS  SM: accurate knowledge of the position and velocity of the satellite in a well-controlled reference system allows us to SM corresponds to the observation. In a linearized approach. this new expect to converge on accurate and reliable values. Then you have to minimize the differences 40 stations were published and were considered by this time between all computed and observed values using statistical as making one of the first homogeneous global Earth refer- assumptions and an algorithm of adjustment. direct and reflected One on the most successful campaign was the geodetic solar radiation pressure …). (continued) . Firstly. available for a while. It may be the measure. there are possible systematic biases The best result obtained for the positioning was at the 10–15 in your system or errors in the physics of your model. the GSM scheme (Figure 1). In the dynamical approach. to understand why. GS moves (due to tides. Photographic Observations Mobil z The photography of satellites with respect to stars was the first type of precise measurements of the angular positions of satellites. The fully optimized system was the American network of Baker-Nunn x cameras that were modified by adding an extra degree of freedom. for instance. the perturbations of the with an elementary diagram. Earth. The problem is ence systems. First the accuracy was not good enough. The observation with a value computed by marking a first guess existing BC – 4 cameras from the US Coast and Geodetic about the unknowns. tectonic motions. Among the unknowns. forces and in priority the gravity field of the Earth. Secondly.3 First look at observing technique candidates effects). Station The procedure requires a capability of observing even satel- lites with faint magnitudes. a perfect knowledge of the forces provide a M is the position of the moving satellite. have the benefit of other measurements performed by ment of range. onboard instruments. Knowing the func- Going beyond.2 The space geodetic scheme natural way to scan any part of the planet. connection between Europe and Africa. it is the 2. powerful constraint on the orbit determination. nowadays. reference system was not accessible to the common user. The terrestrial reference frame. you have to Survey were deployed in networks occupying 40 sites well compute the partial derivatives of the observation relative to distributed around the Earth. the geocentric positions of the the unknowns. you have to compare your balloon satellite was put in orbit at a higher altitude. but it is still interesting to – the initial conditions (position and velocity of the satel. through inten. to make geodetic intercontinental links. A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 3 Several geodetic institutes were thus able. Conversely. It was in fact a dead-end and it is interesting in fact not linear.

The subsequent leakage of oil was evapo- cameras were used: as examples the Wild BC4 camera of the rated with Mrs Bivas’s hairdryer! Coast and Geodetic Survey in USA (aperture 11. like the AFU 75 camera in USSR (aperture of 20 cm and soon as the satellite was in view. The system is global. There was a competition to get first returns. The – a network of tracking stations well distributed around the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) team in the USA got Earth (TRANET network).7 cm. downlink measurements. One of the advan. the best situation to get your prey in case In parallel.5 meters. request- desy with satellites like ECHO or PAGEOS. other countries were developing their own sys- of non-accurate predictions. involved in the first attempts to get some returns from BEB just the reference being provided by the surrounding stars. taking into account the progress realized with the laser techniques and the radio techniques. they shot with For the purpose of developing the geometrical space geo- the laser transmitter. in a position as low as pos- is to say around 10 to 20 meters. A Hunting Party to observe but also to measure the films and provide in a few During the winter of 1964. all these techniques are generally abandoned. the HEWITT camera at the Malvern they manoeuvred around two axes to maintain the instrument Observatory and the ZEISS camera in Germany. In 1967. computes orbits and orbit computed with laser observations at the COSPAR enters these coded orbits onboard the satellites. This capability was US Navy to provide an improved navigation system for used in transmitting energy from the ground towards the their fleet. to help R. small satellite named Diapason with a USO (ultra stable Today. global determination of the gravity field (see Standard Earth It was like a hunting party. some radio-electric systems were devel- oped and research undertaken to better understand the different components in order to identify the key points for the design of permanent and weather independent accurate 2. cheap. as tems. though without falling into exotic com- focal length 30 cm). in the direction of the satellite.3. they played a major role in the beginning and old 2. During the 60s.3. GEOS-A is equivalent to firing at the eye of a bee flying around with a and -B satellites launched by the USA) or for observing laser speed of 10 kilometers per second. In the meantime. returns on the satellites and obtaining the 3 components of the Thanks to celestial mechanics it was not as hard! station-to-satellite vector. They were seated in an old turret that Nice Observatory. The core was a one way Doppler downlink satellite equipped with corner cubes that reflect the light mode. The first satellite scale. le-Buisson obtained the first pass at the Haute Provence – a main operating center that collects the Doppler mea- Observatory in January 1965. and M.5 cm). But nowadays. the receiver on the ground in tracking stations where and the time elapsed between emission and reception. They only presented the first surements from the ground stations. the tracking camera ANTARES at the information to the Bivas.4 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE implemented. has an named DIADEME 1 and 2. The overall system was heating. equipped with USO and laser infinite lifetime and does not consume any energy. that view the satellite with binoculars.0–1. the TRANSIT satellites. reflectors were launched. The French CNRS team – a fleet of orbiting satellites. focal When you participate in such a venture. you become more length 30. launched a ments was of about 1. The data from DIADEME were .2 Satellite laser ranging system of tracking. In 1966. to transmit orally useful focal length of 75 cm). meeting in Buenos-Aires in spring 1965. respectful of the data. provides the range. the transmitter is onboard the satel- back in the same direction. and quartz oscillator) onboard to test accurate one-way Doppler it is still open to many improvements. with (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) at Verrières- enough redundancy to provide a global coverage. we had the good luck to be weeks better right ascensions and declinations of the satellite. tages is that the onboard equipment is light. equipped by the USA with laser corner cubes was BEB The three main components are: (1964). laser ranging is the most accurate technique. two other satellites. So the game was to watch and. sible on the horizon. many smaller ing some cooling.3 Radio frequency tracking data: photographic data continued to be used in gravity field model. CNES (The French Space Agency). The accuracy was limited to about 2 arc seconds. However. Laser technology is able to emit highly concentrated phased The TRANSIT system was developed very early by the optical energy in very narrow beams. In such a system. the game was to below). At this time. Bivas in charge of this experiment at the These photographic observations were the core of the first Haute Provence Observatory. after the Doppler effect is measured and dated in the station time some corrections. The returned energy is detected lite. There was a large effort in automation not only First Laser Returns. Schmidt Telescopes were also successfully ments such as made by a newsman: shooting at a laser target used for observing flashing satellites (ANNA – 1B. the first ones in December 1964. The claimed pre- cision from the rms (root mean square) of the measure. the IGN camera in France (aperture 10 cm. the TRANSIT system ing to ensure a good decorrelation between the different harmonics.

values of the coefficients placed before each harmonic. It had a decisive .2 The meeting in Williamstown – A vision lished … In fact. The Standard Earth I (SE I) In space geodesy. differences of the observed orbit are mapped back to – for performing in parallel a model of atmospheric densi- changes in the gravity coefficients. the so-called Standard Earth (SE). The altitude effect is ties to filter the air drag. the amplitudes of the perturbations in the trajectory were comparatively quite The expertise being acquired.5. to present some initial results and emerging results. They distinguished – for getting photographic observations from modified the functions only depending on latitude called zonal Baker Nunn cameras. one uses – for creating and maintaining a unique atomic time the best existent gravity model to predict the orbit. erably varies. SE was not an end but a basis for the future not known at all but was later discovered (the “pear” shape and had a strong impact on the future program. This position has been corrected by civilian very significant project. The many of them were lucky enough to share the spirit of value of the third coefficient (C30 or J3). The value of the first coefficient can be easily inter- published by M. Since gravity is the with the recovery of unknowns. consid. A workshop was convened by NASA in July 1969. Several determinations were made. The executive summary using the gravity field.4 Dynamical approach and first zonal harmonics gravity field and consistent station coordinates. (characterised by a degree and an order). It was followed later by the SE II ics. The first solution provided more than 100 meters. up to several degrees/day on the ascending node (it views.1. It was managed as a project with a clear where the satellites revolve the value of the gravity. strongest force controlling the orbit of a satellite. It was made in close Earth was computed with an accuracy 10 times better that co-operation with people coming from different countries. A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 5 used in 1968 to make a pilot experiment with three ground 2. argument of perigee (the point of the orbit where the dis. the almost immediate result was the was published and widely distributed during the COSPAR determination of the first coefficients of the zonal harmon- meeting in 1967. The value of the second coefficient co-ordinates of about 25 tracking stations and a gravity (C20 or J2) characterising the dynamic flattening of the field to the degree and order 15. lot of new things. 2. was initiated in the mid-60s by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) at Cambridge. It was rather easy. this dynamical approach provided the 2 objectives new objectives in order to set up a strategy with clear prior- that one had in mind: tracking station and satellite positions ities expressed in terms of projects. representing the co-operation. This was the first respect to the crust. the previous accepted value from classical geodesy. – for developing analytical theories to describe the satellite Low degree coefficients describe long wavelengths. Gaposchkin and K. There were a At the surface of the Earth as well as in its environment. easily taken into account. The Standard Earth Notice that the Doppler measurements differ from the laser ones in that the former can only measure the relative Following these preliminary studies. the brain storming and hard work during gravity field asymmetry between the 2 hemispheres. of the Earth!). distance (“range”) itself. higher motion and the statistical scheme for data assimilation degrees increasingly shorter scales.5. is one of the best visions in our discipline. Kaula chaired it. But beyond these ing technology. starting from exist- tance to the Earth center is minimal). harmonics (characterised by a degree) and the others – for having a plan to select the satellites to track in order depending also on longitude called tesseral harmonics to have a maximized diversity of orbits.5 Two major turns: The Standard Earth and the stations equipped with laser tracking systems and Doppler Williamstown Meeting receivers. W. They expanded taken: the potential function of the gravity field with mathematical functions called spherical harmonics. the first big step was speed (“range rate”) between satellite and station. defines the angular position of the orbital plane) and on the and was devoted to “Earth and Ocean Application Physics”. The main idea was. inter-compared and some initial attempts at geophysical interpretation pub- 2. it was time to express some large. global objective. This project was a full success. The SE was a set of spherical harmonics coefficients depicting the 2. then the scale. Determining the – for deploying the network of these cameras to optimize Earth gravity field is equivalent to determine the numerical the sampling. For representing such variations in space. not the when a first Earth model. Lambeck in the preted in terms of the position of the center of mass with Journal of Geophysical Research in 1971. Massachusetts. the All the requirements were identified and actions were geodesists chose mathematical functions. AS. was summertime.

were ready to participate. We will use extensively an imitation of this chart The flow chart described above provides a basis for the to analyse the evolution (Figure 2).) impact at least on the 80 participants and is still considered altimetry as a new type of measurement and of a clear as a foundation. objective.1 Observing systems and Pilot experiments was a good approach. Williamstown was an opening and it is D1D gave the impetus to put laser corner cubes on other interesting that the program was aiming beyond scientific satellites BEC. who was the manager of the Standard Earth and its environment. But 30 years later. This and. The rationale “Standard Earth” led to further improvements using more was simple. GEOS B. One of tions and the use of a larger diversity of satellites. envelopes like oceans. constructed a flow chart that seems very simple. or concern when the project is realized in an international between satellites”. it is recognized that it 3. That implied co-ordination of laser sta- possible applications of Earth and Ocean Physics. the major new outputs was the emergence of the radar there was no satellite with inclination lower than 40. and it is a major rate. It reveals a confidence in facing several countries started building their own laser stations the challenge confronting scientists and humanity. (NASA document. there was enough scientific expertise to new accurate laser data. If we would like to have a more 3. but clearly put forward the relationships between the various tasks. large motions of fluid account. Lundquist. developing each component but also to maintain a high dynamique”. First laser returns obtained from BEB then from D1C and In conclusion. . The success of meeting was definitely a change of vision. atmosphere or ice caps have to be considered. GEOS A. In 1970.6 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE Figure 2 Lundquist’s chart. The main diffi- Based upon the conclusions of Williamstown we wrote culty is to maintain not only a high level of expertise in in 1970. THE PREPARATORY PHASE 1970–1980 strategy with an iterative process appeared as the key to success. Earth and a driver in Williamstown. This end-to-end 3. a report called “Propositions à long terme en géo. This proposal was criticized as being technical and not scientific. implementation of projects to be developed. range requires a new way of involving scientists. Our proposal was to-study “all that can be level of communication between the different teams. It made a major contribution to understanding the C. after testing. directions between ground stations and satellites.1. 1969.1 Laser upgrading noble definition we could rename it the “Metrology of the Earth”. This determined from accurate measurements of range. It concerns the study of the Earth and cooperation in taking the existing cultural differences into the Moon as elastic-viscous bodies. In parallel. and technical objectives. GEOS C.

STARLETTE has been tracked for more than 25 years and anisotropy of the laser network. to determine perturbations like tidal potential over long peri- One of the main interests of this kind of satellite is their odic terms like those connected to the nutation. no format and even no ilar satellites: STELLA (CNES). which illustrates how fast a decision was sometimes taken in the 70s and then how drasti- After ISAGEX. the laser technique now and will remain in the program for decades. system of detection.e. it allowed us continued to be used and was upgraded again and again. to inform us that a locally. lifetime: 1 million years for LAGEOS? 10000 years for The last bit of trouble concerned administration which has STARLETTE? The Lifetime is an important factor for to take account of any objects put in orbit. thus providing a unique and 15. At the end of the queue. This program called ISAGEX. more homogeneous version of the DIAMANT launcher to put in orbit a flight laser beams. different but complementary characteristics. used as a reference to calibrate the other systems and as a work to track 8 satellites. it is possible to have laser echoes this so-called PEOLE satellite had an orbital inclination of with only a few photons. more transmitting. To the big surprise of engi- These two first dedicated satellites (followed later by sim. As a “passive” satellite but we expect to track it for decades if not an example. but there was no payload and no money to do it. Indeed the feasibility was con- air drag effects. GFZ-1 (Germany)) were very useful. the idea came to have dedicated satellites fully opti. as happened to ERS 1 and GEOSAT After 18 months. (SE II and SE III at SAO. GEM series (Goddard Earth Model) Story of STARLETTE at GSFC (Goddard Space. The queue was long enough to allow JC Husson. After lunch a telex was mailed to SAO (Smithsonian to be sensitive to gravity field and its temporal variations Astrophysical Observatory) in Cambridge (USA). The case was applied to STARLETTE and it was difficult to explain that it is detecting and for determining long periodic perturbations. CNES proposed to take this opportunity to co-ordinate proven accuracy. there were major improvements con- cally the situation changed later. Agency). STAR. only equipped with laser corner cubes. Moreover the laser observations are less an international program dedicated to the laser ranging use sensitive to propagation delay errors due to the atmosphere (adding optical direction measurements from cameras). to undertake a new generation of gravity field models. laser ranging and a perfect proof mass (physical realization of LETTE was also sensitive to the tidal potential and allowed point M with mass m) and the laser observations were exten- researchers to determine the tidal potential parameters. was enthusiastically positive and wise. They all had a we had some concerns because we got no returns at all until we realized that we were tracking the third stage of the heavy weight in the gravity field solutions. LAGEOS 2 (NASA and telemetry were foreseen. As expected. a new rapid and precise model of the EOLE Spacecraft equipped with corner cubes. and came back the – LAGEOS (NASA. LAGEOS was extremely useful in determining the polar STARLETTE was supposed to be both a perfect target for motion and the rotation of the Earth. As expected. These developments were so promising that. was quite successful. ASI). the laser is is a large observation campaign from the whole laser net. We may recognise that. especially the core built with no radioactive Uranium Earth rotation motions and geocentric reference frames by a mechanical department of CEA (the French Nuclear (i. . in using the orbit of LAGEOS as a reference). remember that the prime period of the nutation centuries to study the “dynamics” of the Earth. each having “debris”. in the satellites using an ephemeris. variation of the geodynamic flattening of the Earth. sively performed and used as a core of gravity field improve- Despite the limitations in coverage due to weather conditions ments. Their comments were that a satellite Italian Space Agency. AJISAI (Japan). most important. that than radioelectric measurements are therefore. Brachet. ETALON with no telemetry is not really a satellite but a piece of (USSR). STARLETTE. 1975) in a low altitude orbit so as mission. They acquired the capabilities to There was a queue in the cafeteria of the CNES at Bretigny make daylight measurements and to fire automatically at (1972). A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 7 Therefore the CNES proposed to use a test launch of a new Today. Their reply and even to the solid Earth and ocean tides. the sister satellite STELLA was launched as a is of secular type. thus being a stable target to determine the firmed. back up to continue to observe a spacecraft when it is no which was managed by G. Diamant launcher. STARLETTE is a success story. in the test of a new version of the Diamant Rocket was to be made 1970s. 1976) in a very high altitude orbit to same day. cerning the laser stations. and. was successfully launched in 1975. ISAGEX provided a unique new data set FOLLOW ON. The complete dossier was ready in a few weeks and be as insensitive as possible to the gravity field and to the approved in a few months. after the successful launch. Flight Center) and GRIM series (GRgs/IMunich at Toulouse and Munich). mized for laser tracking. neers asking for formats of telemetry. we had the orbital parameters and first draft of the scientific – STARLETTE (CNES. STARLETTE and associated tide is 18. The project to build a small satellite optimized for laser Two such satellites were launched: tracking came back in to our minds. which could be improved charge of Earth and planetary programs.6 years and the post-glacial rebound is not alone. by using a spherical target. The latter is the main origin of the secular passenger of SPOT3.

1992) In the future. Paris Observatories).2 Other laser ranging applications: the Moon and It was continuously upgraded so it was able to give. This so-called GEOLE project was studied in ranges obtained by several stations from round trip measure. Several et al. it was used for such civilian objectives as positioning. at the urging of oceanographers wanting to measure the eddies on the surface of the ocean by using buoy motions. with corner system. a dedicated cam- reflectors. the Côte d’Azur and the systems. 1994. center. The accuracy LASSO package proposed by J. From these data. note that new other applications from laser tracking emerge: the idea is to equip any launched bodies. for time synchronisation the first time. This includes a lot of A new application of the laser ranging was its successful international or regional campaigns: EDOC. the satellite. Two paign in the African continent … (proceedings on Doppler French panels were put on the Soviet vehicles Lunakhod. on the landing sites of Apollo 11. still in use. The EOLE system was too complicated and not adequate ARGOS. – One way Doppler and one way uplink mode: the ARGOS including the stages of launchers put in orbit. 1998). an extension of this lite laser ranging is also used to perform very accurate time concept was proposed to be implemented on a satellite in synchronisation at intercontinental scales in combining high orbit. One of the objectives was to locate a dissipation of energy within the Earth-Moon system. but that is support of the precise orbit determination of satellites enough to measure the Earth-Moon distance with a one cen- equipped with radar altimeters. square deduced from a very precise trajectory is of about few centimeters for the last years (a result obtained at the – Double way range and range rate: EOLE and PRARE JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). 14 and 15. Finally. which was checked with a greater The received signal was directly compared to the transmit- precision and the internal constitution of the Moon (Dickey ted one and allowed the Doppler measurement. The system was operational as soon as 1978 and is poses. only a few stations are able to get returns. plexity of the ground stations. The satel. it could be possible noise ratio. The tracking mode was a one EOLE. extension to the Moon. cubes allowing them to keep the orbital control of such The third operational system was ARGOS. Data are The TRANSIT system was operational from 1970 until collected onboard and retransmitted by telemetry to a main 2000. The same system was used in Today.1. areas is required. This measurement is one of the ways to estimate the the EOLE satellite. It was designed objects in critical situations (CNES/ALOSI project). EROSDOC. the and. hundred balloons were successfully located from EOLE. munication satellite (the Italian satellite SIRIO 2 with the which was flown on ERS 1 and 2 satellites. and ARGOS satellites: way Doppler uplink transmitter from the buoy receiver to – One way Doppler downlink mode: TRANSIT system. RETDOC. which means that antennas must be pointed at to get this synchronisation with an accuracy of about a few the ground stations. thus. 3. Although designed for navigation and military pur. the properties of the Moon’s rotation around itself. PRARE (Precise Range And Range Rate) tracking system. Lefebvre was as expected but the system requires a good signal-to- in 1972 (Veillet et al. MEDOC. cept that was used for the implementation of the German That was indeed realized by ESA on a geostationary telecom. . Gaignebet and M. positioning at Austin 1979). independent values of polar motion and new international reference frames. A similar project named ments. then GEOSAT (1985). The studies confirmed the value of the con- detected by an optical sensor onboard a dedicated satellite. The time scale is unique and provided by the onboard clock. The lunar laser range root mean SEASAT (1978). It is necessary to determine the time differences of POPSAT was later proposed by Germany to ESA but also arrival of laser pulses emitted by the ground stations and not approved. was so promising that. like GEOS 3 (1975).8 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE 3.1. Several fleet of balloons moving in the stratosphere. timeter accuracy level. ADOS. as early as 1968.3 Radio-frequency tracking modes: TRANSIT. detail but finally not approved. NASA put three panels of laser WEDOC. which measures the Doppler effect. for exam. the system is difficult to operate tens of picoseconds (T2L2/PHARAO/ ACES experiment to and can present some difficulties when installed in remote be put onboard the International Space station in 2004). the design of ARGOS was to minimize the com- Three different modes have been realized with TRANSIT. emitted onboard went to a transponder put on the balloon ple. The signal important results have been obtained concerning. It Another application is the time synchronisation. Equivalence Principle. it is possible to deter- mine the exact rate at which the Moon recedes from the The two-way range and range-rate systems were used on Earth. Therefore. after a change of frequency. went back to the satellite. Samain et al. PRARE for completely unmanned and remote ground stations.

The JPL decided to prove definitively the of the specifications of ARGOS. Gudmandsen put the proposal on the desks of ESA onboard a manned station (1973). ities and the schedule written by the executive committee. telemetry was only possible in direct view of stations. GEOS-3 was very The reader may recognize in the first line what will be the useful. This pro. to the objectives. there was some large release of data ERS satellite panel. for example. When the launch of SEASAT was certain. which these projects (DORIS. and with satellites such as POPSAT or GEOLE. Their chair- altimeter was placed in the space laboratory SKYLAB man P. other applications were in delayed mode. B8. what (ice. successful. oceanography was added details in whole coherence with tectonic features. the biodi- versity objective was considered in the beginning as being out and centers. It was wrong. 30. so the acquisition of with ocean and ice dynamics. What JPL did for other small electronics allows us now to record permanently many planets could not be a problem for the Earth. surface when the satellite is passing over! scientists undertook some preparatory actions without awaiting final official policy. Nevertheless. Indeed the altimetry lites were not approved. ranges and one-way downlink Doppler measurements. It was the right time to do it and it was very astronauts and the first “around the world trip” was pro. with two main satellites. Many lessons can be without any advertising. the first satellite dedicated to satellite altimetry place at Schloss Elmau (Germany) in January 1978. 1979). But tions in geodynamics in the broad sense and navigation. 100 (the satellite orbits are not very sensitive to gravity features attendees during a full week made clear recommendations. and it became biological parameters of animals and to transmit them later. much shorter than the satellite height. alleviating the operational constraints. at this time. LAGEOS2. they named SURGE Following the Williamstown’s recommendations. The main themes were supposed to be applica- models were consistent with the amplitude of profiles. GPS for the positioning can be useful for precisely launching rockets from the sea. a new scientific community to use new space systems. and STELLA. New GEOS-3 also triggered interest from the space agencies ideas are proposed concerning biodiversity. These data were extensively used and a envisioned. siles as a part of the error in the initial conditions. SAR and pas- There is no more need to educate the animals to stay on the sive radiometer. GFZ-1 for the study of the at this time. et al. A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 9 geoid and to evidence strong correletations between signifi- ARGOS: Biodiversity and New Users cant oceans features and the sea-floor topography (Balmino A new class of users of ARGOS exists now: about 1700 ani. The second issue was the reaction of the mals of various species from whales to birds are permanently scientific community frustrated to have been pulled out localized and their way of life recorded. the main pur- hollows on the sea surface. but altimetry can see The proposed first priorities were as follows (Figure 3): such scales on the sea surface). Indeed finally. scatterometer (to measure wind). France (Office islands area. That triggers a renewal of interest drawn from this new use of ARGOS: first the interest grows in and watching among the scientists. Note that – (Figure 3B) A so-called surface studies program to deal GEOS-3 had no onboard recorder. using a tracking network (the same network as used for The Figures 3A and B give in a synthetic view the prior- TRANSIT). The workshop was called SONG (Space vided an extra impetus to get the decision for the launching Oceanography Navigation and Geodynamics). nent was about 2 meters. Progress in potential of space for oceanography. Let us give an example: at the European level some high level scientists met at an infor- mal meeting in London in July 1977 and wrote together an 3. It demonstrated that there are bumps and vene a workshop with European scientists. the direct local determination of special issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research was the Earth radiation budget was proposed. At this time. ocean satellite: ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites) and created large gaps. a radar “SEASAT User Research Group in Europe”. 1979). Indeed the published (Vol. July. the American Department of Defence (DOD) field and precise positioning (crustal dynamics features) considered the altimetry as a very sensitive technique. ESA also took the decision to con- vided in real time. – (Figure 3A) A solid Earth program to deal with gravity However. These satel- the overall experiment was classified. The orbit was computed from laser geoid satellites (today the GOCE satellite). these deviations were essential for cruise mis- gravity field).2 Altimetry emerging unsolicited proposal from their group. PRARE. It was switched-on by the and NASA. SEASAT (a dedicated satellite for oceanography) with thanks to ARGOS. In the Kerguelen CACTUS accelerometer built by ONERA. but other solutions replaced provides deviations of the vertical as by-products. The long wavelength features pose being to make recommendations for solid Earth obtained in computing the geoid from the gravity field missions. it was amazing to see a lot of short wavelength Based on the SURGE activity. 84. The accuracy of the orbit for the radial compo. Second. it was even possible to compute a marine National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aéronautiques et . and it took of GEOS-3. altimeter. Moreover.

could be very usefully considered in the future. and GOCE in 2005. a lot of investigations were successfully performed in radiation budget (the BIRAMIS project). the BIRAMIS project was not approved. (From ESA-SP137 document. As a result. The only missing component was the very precise so-called thermal thrust effect or the photonic radiation orbit. month: 9 collinear tracks were available and appeared to be but it was at the origin of many developments very crucial extremely useful for learning a lot of things about the cross- to geodesy. failure. p33. The meeting “Ocean from Space” organized in improve the upper atmosphere density models. land. and even the more sceptical attendees were con- albedo (over ocean. SEASAT was put on a 3 days repeat orbit during 1 thrust). 1978. it can also Venice (1980). So. it can directly measure the local Earth data. the payload had all measurements but also throughout the duration of the mis- the major instruments for measuring the oceans from space. the demonstration was convinc- anisotropy of the satellite surface temperatures (it was the ing. THIRD PHASE MATURITY AND DECISIONS ONERA micro-accelerometers will be used in the three 1980–1990 gravity missions: CHAMP in 2000. the Czech space project MIMOSA over technique and about mean sea surface features. sion at any time when observations are made. SEASAT was really a starter. With only 3 months of satellite. for altimetry.) spatiales) and launched by CNES in 1975 onboard the SEASAT had a short lifetime due to a satellite technical CASTOR satellite proved that such a system has the capa. as well as it can many areas. In spite of this short lifetime and maybe thanks to bility to measure many non-gravitational forces acting on a that. Consequently a are very probably today the limiting factor in the precise continuous effort has been made to improve the basic time orbit determination of oceanographic satellites like TOPEX/ technology and to transfer the improvements from ground to Poseidon or JASON-1. Let us recall that 4. nents of any space system involved in practical operational It is of importance to recall that the non-gravitational forces missions as well as in scientific research. It will also used in the CNES/MICRO- 4. GRACE in 2001. However. Moreover the . and snow) and those due to the vinced. moreover. New applications of accelerometry satellite systems. 16–31 January 1978. This temporal accuracy is required not only for individual SEASAT was launched in July 1978. Schloss Elmau. provided an opportunity to appreciate the exhibit directly non-gravitational forces due to the Earth results. This illustrates very well the importance Extremely accurate time measurements are essential compo- of developing new technologies a very long time in advance.10 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE Figure 3 Chart of program proposal from the SONG workshop.1 Time and frequencies SCOPE mission in 2004 to test the Equivalent Principle at the level of 1015. with the MACEK accelerometer onboard should be a very good opportunity to validate these interesting possibilities in the years to come (Sehnal 1994).

techniques in 1990. by employing space technologies. Note: Improvements in the mechanical clock. Feissel. Masson. is today easily achieved at a level of accuracy tion parameter is illustrated in Figure 5. A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 11 time scale used has to be linked with the same accuracy to also been very fruitful. the TAI (International quency advances provided the basis for the successful GPS Atomic Time). in which the results which satisfies most users. The permanent dialogue between people developing new technologies and space project teams has Figure 4 The y-axis gives the daily drift of clocks measured in seconds of time. the constant progress in the atomic frequency stan. 1998. as the difference between UT1 and TAI. No erratic The frequency stability of oscillators is also a major require. 1990. As a last example. figure. A horizontal line gives the astrometric technique in 1970 and by space geodetic Comparison with the rotation of the Earth considered as a clock. mantle. the errors are of the order of a few and altimetry) is due to the progress in the time-frequency field (see Figure 4). The ordinate on the right gives the required number of years to obtain a drift of 1 second. behavior is exhibited on the curve at the bottom of the ment. techniques can be compared 20 years later with new results dard requires further efforts to improve time comparisons. the behavior of frequency laboratories and the various users and contributors.) . The way in which the Earth rotates depends on the way in vices. There is also a need to know the position of 4.) Observatoire de Paris. the time and fre- the international standard time scale. “Bureau International des Poids et Mesures” (BIPM at Sèvres. The TAI is presently maintained at the design (Global Positioning System). Paris. radio tracking. France). which has been a nightmare in progress concerning the determination of the Earth orienta- the past. obtained in the beginning of the seventies by astrometric However. At the present time. Note the improvement in precision. quartz clock and Figure 5 Comparison of the polar motion determined by the atomic clock in thousand years.2 Earth rotation the rotating Earth as a function of time (UT1 or the Universal Time1). ocean always a continuity and a partnership between the time and and atmosphere are the basic constituents. The Global time synchronisation. These quantities are provided by international ser. On the (abscissa axis) x-axis the date is expressed in thousands years. (From “Les fondements de la mesure du temps” by Claude From the International Earth Rotation Service. which allow us to interpret variations in Earth rotation. (M. p. obtained by using space based techniques. core. All progress in space metrology (laser. Audouin and Bernard Guinot. crust. 47. There was which the Earth is constituted.

For the first period. in USSR. We have to keep in mind gravity field by means of an orbital perturbations analysis is (cf. This new 4. geometric and dynamic high space resolution in the gravity field determination can- methods considered. Note: The geoid of the Earth look like a “patatoid”. effort still in progress. including determinations of the satellites being tracked by these systems is also an important parameters in the gravity field model and the position of the factor. Therefore many It is impossible to be exhaustive in this field but this projects have been studied at length both from a theoretical period corresponds to a huge and fruitful international point of view and to take advantage of the new technologies. effort in America. LAGEOS 2. … In The two main approaches and techniques are: conclusion. the study of the Earth’s rotation is based on GPS. Anderle. The “Bureau International de I’Heure” (BIH) at the Paris Observatory started incorporating space geodesy results in 1974 for the determination of polar from motion. This capability allows it to determine the length of day over Avocado? “patatoid” long periods of time (a function equivalent to the determi.5. shown in Figure 6. formulated the first determination of polar motion in 1969. and regularly improved solutions were presented at the COSPAR meetings starting in the 60s. 2. such as it is determined from these gravity field models.A. But the VLBI technique (Very Long Base Interferometry) has a specific role. Nowadays. The contributions of classical optical astrometry progressively decreased and was completely abandoned by the BIH in 1984. VLBI and DORIS data. axis of the Earth in a celestial reference frame (quasi-iner. The determination of the second derivatives of the gravitational potential in spacecraft . VLBI is a fundamental and irreplaceable ing to one of the GEM (Gravity Earth Models) of GSFC the technique in the metrology of space. laser range measurements on STARLETTE. observing stations. Then pure gravimetric methods were improved and approach is well known from the early beginning.3 The Earth gravity field status nickname was used and popularized. 1957 and at the end of the sixties a big advance took place in this field. where two low altitude geometric measurements) together with statistical constraints co-orbiting satellites measure their relative velocity (Kaula’s rule of thumb) continue to be used. Doppler measurements on GEOSAT. The basic principles of a dynamic solution were estab. SEASAT and large sets of Doris data coming from the track- lished during these first years of space geodesy and are still ing of SPOT 2 and 3 are basic and crucial data. not be obtained only by orbital analyses. etc. range of about a hundred meters. due to the increased accuracy and coverage was performed at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory of tracking systems. Obviously. in Europe. Who built that? When NASA released the GEOID correspond- nation by UT-1). During the press conference it was that this Earth said appears as a non-fresh avocado or like a kind of potato. used today. the upper limits of this oped. it is clear that between October 4. the so-called Standard Earth. the principles used in the early times to mix data is tracked by a high altitude satellite. In parallel to the pure dynamical solution. It has no competitor for determining the direction of the rotation Figure 6 The geoid.S. new data types or/and distance. Nevertheless. SLR. A very finally also the mixed gravimetric.12 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE tenths of milliarc second (less than 1 cm on the Earth crust). coming to include relativistic corrections and Here the measurements are determined directly from the non-gravitational forces modeling. The geoid. LAGEOS. STELLA. is mixed methods using geometric constraints were devel. there was a It was important to better determine the zonal and tesseral reply in a newspaper an unhappy citizen “I am paying enough taxes to have a decent Earth. The availability of a larger diversity of to arrive at a global solution.1) that the first specific and historical civilian. What NASA will plan to rectify it?” harmonic coefficients in the Earth gravity field models. The tial system defined by about 600 celestial radio-sources) variations of the geoid are given by colours and are in the and for linking terrestrial and celestial reference frames. and then others in different countries undertook similar studies. is sensitive to the small scale gravity anomalies and Today.. in Japan. references can be found in the – the High–Low mode. where the low altitude satellite Space Science Review (Kovalevsky and Barlier 1967). of various origins (orbit analysis. are now added and the models have become more and more (ii) Gradiometry sophisticated. sketch had exaggerated bumps and troughs. (i) Satellite to Satellite Tracking (SST Technique) in two which has continued to progress for 30 years and yet is not possible modes: finished. in the U. gravimetric data and – The Low–Low mode. a “patatoid”. then UT1.

time that the decisions for the DORIS system were being taken there was no adequate tracking system. ERS 1 was put in a geodetic orbit as well. the technique is not only a challenge for the main that would have a decisive impact on the models of ocean instrument (a gradiometer) but imposes constraints on the circulation. When they became avail. system. to the surface. The medium and short wavelengths are related output for geophysics was convincing enough per se. after which its Like the other instruments used in remote sensing altimetry data were released thank to the efforts of a few determined to measure parameters at the surface. have attitude control contain cists studying ocean tectonics. Thus. it is a quantitative measurement to be GEOSAT. a boundary currents in relationships with the climate. The tropical variations linked to the ENSO- ties including some consequences quasi real time pilot EL NINO phenomena have amplitudes of 20–25 centi- experiments. radar altimeter occurred and how to try to overcome them. But tracking data were released with some reluctance. which only measures sea surface are due to large-scale convection inside the the variations of ocean circulation. The long wavelengths of the competition with TOPEX/Poseidon. the atmos- the mission. The repeat track of 17 days appeared to be a meters on the scale of 10 000 kilometers. In fact thanks to the active and efficient help of varies from meso-scale features like eddies to large western NOAA (Laboratory for Space Altimetry (R. The first GRADIO project was two sets: born in 1981 in France and at the same time. We recall in a summary table (Table 1) the characteristics of existing sys- 4. In a 2-year “classified” part of warming. and more important. had a major used to adjust models. which were not precise enough by variations. To make some good compromise. More and more geophysicists realized advances. the and thereforce improved their projects again and again for sea surface shape is the result of the superposition of the almost 20 years in Europe.1 Scientific requirements: DORIS tracking tems and try to investigate where the source of error system. cise orbit is not too critical for observing the eddies. and also a unique set of data for the geophysi- satellite: it must be drag free. Let us assume we know the marine geoid perfectly. It is a critical issue for large-scale the TRANET network. But it is agreed that the try as a system were based on scientific objectives in the scientific community accept the risk and promote advanced geophysical and oceanographic fields.4. the GRM/SST (i) The geophysical data set reports on the distribution of gravity project was initiated in the U. But this surface mea- US Navy and NOAA oceanographers. we need to technologies.S. but it to bathymetry density contrasts as parts of the ocean was not perceived as such by the decision-makers. (ii) The oceanographic data set. GEOSAT was then surement is an integral of the field of densities from bottom placed in an exactly repeating “declassified” orbit. The spectrum of this ocean data impact. the cir- 4.4 Altimetry culation of the ocean modifies the sea surface topography GEOSAT was launched by the US Navy in 1985 and its in several ways: sea level variations due directly to the useful lifetime was 4 years. In the early 80s. This is a major point to be better studied. They were in densities inside the Earth. Cheney)). we can use the following slogan: GEOSAT was transmitting a couple of coherent frequen- cies compatible with the TRANET network. As a matter of fact. one of high frequency signature can be recovered in adjusting the limitations coming from the Doppler measurements of polynomial coefficients. such as the seasonal effect play with the data and in return to provid new insights. they were used firstly to compute a tuned gravity field sponding requirements for the system components. allowing it to One Centimeter for a Monthly Value on an Ocean Basin Scale perform Doppler measurements. between the two hemispheres. Thus. A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 13 axes. To achieve these objectives. growing number of people and laboratories learned how to A few bits of information. A pre- and then a precise orbit. although not fully optimized. it the time had come to make key decisions The main uncertainty was due to unknown parts of about the undertaking of ambitious projects to provide data the gravity field and especially to those generating high .A. If we want to give a specification to a ocean tectonics. The corresponding data were classified until and deep part). the most important for climate studies. The requirements for altime- orbit maintenance subsystems etc. and these tectonic on these scales. and they analyzed altimetric profiles. have amplitudes of 10–15 One of the major was the initiation of operational activi. At the comparison with new modern systems. the scientific days. Indeed. The precision of the radial compo. we have to look at the corre- able. it is necessary to determine these values with an that this was indeed a complete new system to study the error of 10% or less. The proposing teams were never discouraged look at the two sets of data we have access to. their nent was claimed to be of about 30–40 centimeters. whereas one also needs mantle and are comparatively well understood nowa- the mean absolute geoid. first gravity field projects were not approved. GEOSAT was put on a geodetic orbit with a phere and the variations of the ocean circulation (upper part dense grid. due to the tides. centimeters.

This value stability of the USO frequencies. The expected accuracy of the radial either direct or reflected.50 m 30 cm 3 cm 1 cm Doppler 5 cm/s 1 cm/s 0. The extra coverage over stations oceans using island. Paris 1999). which played a role in the determination of the sea surface (CNES document. best points of previous systems and avoiding the worst ones: The design allowed ground stations to be almost fully the DORIS system (Figure 7). The 2 frequencies are high enough between the 2 hemispheres has been achieved as well as and different enough to filter out the ionosphere effects. The system In the DORIS proposal. For the clocks. a well-balanced distribution non-pointing antenna.03 cm/s 0. More specifically. (AVISO/CLS/CNES document. The 50 stations were placed 50 tracking stations transmitting upward 2 frequencies dri. Research and technology came from expertise acquired during several years of orbital were able to provide this new generation equipment even for analysis in Doppler tracking programs (MEDOC.5 mm/s. the best accuracy. then makes the Doppler measurements possible.14 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE Table 1 Mean errors on different measurements over the years. in well-distributed sites around the world and even in ven by an USO (ultra stable oscillator) through a simple remote sites. All the observa- increase sampling and accuracy. the ultimate accuracy was operates in a one way up-link mode. This transmitted frequencies are compared to the onboard yields an orbital coverage of around 80% depending on the receiver. which it was possible to get at a given time. also driven by an USO. GEOSAT . over 1000 seconds. It was based on a network of automated and easy to install. and to the unknowns coming from remote sites. Thus. The critical point is the quoted as 5 cm for the radial orbital component. Both were had to be dealt with to velocity measurement was about 0.5 cm Accelerometer 109 m/sec2 1010 m/sec2 1013 m/sec2 Clocks 1011 1012 31013 1014 (1012 ) (1013) (1014) (51016) Figure 7 DORIS tracking network with its coverage for TOPEX/Poseidon satellite.01 cm/s Altimeter 20 cm 5 cm 2 cm 0. The short-term stability of the USO was 1012 surface forces like air drag or solar radiation pressure. The difference between orbit height. it was decided to develop a new system taking the which was then compared with the TAI.) frequency perturbations. is also indicated in brackets Accuracy of measurement 1975 1985 1995 2000 Laser 1. tions were dated in the time scale of the onboard clock.

As part of the payload. 650 kilo- The problems of sampling and of determining a precise meters. DORIS was based on fifty stations with a measurement pre. respectively. step by step. drag and wet – a precise positioning satellite (1990). The DORIS system was sions (see the planned gravity missions. center of mass). actions were under- cient sampling in space and time to cover the whole vari. Ideally speaking. precise and automated paper). there was a radar altimeter – for the atmosphere “water vapour content part”. In these earlier projects Twenty stations adequate coverage. orological centers. in the first design. it would be better to determine the cision of 0. Progress in orbit determina- tion for altimetric satellites is shown in Figure 8. cations directorate. the repeat ability of the spectrum. In ensuring that the satellite has a repeat track. by using designed just for sea state-wave height measurements. 4. by using the fields of take decisions for other satellites devoted to related applica- atmospheric pressure and temperature given by the mete- tions: ERS 1 and his twin brother ERS 2. drifts. day repeat orbit. the satellite was at low attitude. altimeter error. taken: the height was raised to 777 kilometers. able role in space oceanography missions in the years to come (with JASON-1 and ENVISAT). Today the accuracy of the radial orbital geoid separately. they were unexpectedly rejected due to the scientific structure of the ESA. Two satellites provide a much more orbit was planed to move to 35 days after a validation .. Orbital error. Such a practice requires dedicated mis- component is about 2 centimeters. and had only a laser system as a precise tracking geoid to detect the mean ocean circulation have now to be device. but fortunately though. discussed in this specified and designed for rapid. and surface effects (sea-state bias). At that time.g. quately observed. we orbit determination and navigation.4. instrumental (e. DORIS will play a major and irreplace. It will be improved for restrict our access to variations alone but they provide nev- the next missions. The blue line in the figure gives the amplitude of the oceanic signal to be detected. The proposed idea was to put the satellite in a three- considered.. path delays (e. ionosphere.5 mm/s. ESA was able to – for the atmosphere “dry part”. ertheless crucial and basic information. (GRGS/CNES document. even if rapid phenomena are still inade- were involved with a measurement precision of 7 mm/s. A single altimetric satellite provides insuffi. troposheric error and electromagnetic bias of the altimeter are given by the colours ranging from red to blue. A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 15 Figure 8 Shows progress in the orbit determination of oceanographic altimetry. by combining the Doppler measure- the Earth was strictly under the responsibility of the appli- ments of two coherent frequencies 13 GHz and 400 MHz. the study of – for the ionosphere. ionospheric error. For TOPEX/Poseidon the status is given for the beginning of the mission and for the present.g. which will also ben. Two majors programs were recommended to ESA during The radar altimeter instrument measures the height the SONG workshop in 1978: range at nadir between the center of mass of the satellite – a surface study program with two complementary pro- and the center of the reflecting spot on the sea surface. “geoid satellite” (1989).) and SEASAT). However. The path delay corrections are made as follows: Unfortunately. jects: an “Ice and Ocean satellite” (1985) followed by a Corrections are of three kinds. troposphere).2 ERS 1 and 2 efit greatly from laser tracking. But data from the radiometer.

The expected total error budget for the tide thanks to very long terms analyses of LAGEOS and radial component was 13 centimeters. The position of the center of mass can be located now It is important to appreciate now how the space programs with an accuracy of a few millimeters. EGM models). repeat period of 10 days. doing double way range and range-rate mea. Secular variations of C20 are due to the post- The expected lifetime was 3 years with a possible extension glacial rebound and can be decorrelated from the 18. the metrologic type). The accuracy is around TOPEX/Poseidon was designed as the core for the program 1–2 millimeters/year.1. order to avoid aliasing with solar tides. our planet (remember we are just looking at measurements of tem PRARE. series of progress that we can call gradients. C50.3 TOPEX/Poseidon 5. 2001). a new generation of made. the laser cubes and as an experi- This information was not accessible in the past. and to have a France) and GFZ (Potsdam.1. Now. The height of 1300 kilometers was chosen in Goddard Space Flight Center (GEM-T. They are not negligible in efforts to determine for 10% of the time.4. Now. Guyana) directly to the selected optimized orbit inclination Recent models (from 1995) have been formulated at the of 65 degrees.1 Gravity field Another decision was taken in 1987 by NASA and CNES Before the space geodesy era.4 Center of mass of the Earth NEW DECISIONS 1990–2000 The location of the Earth’s center of mass was only known within several hundred meters before the space geodesy 5. to decrease the air at Texas University (TEG models) and at GRGS (Toulouse. important and are due to atmospheric and oceanic mass This experimental altimeter was to use the new antenna transports. accurate determinations of the C20 temporal variations – CNES took care of the fully dedicated tracking system (flattening of the Earth) with preliminary detection of varia- DORIS. . some temporal vari- have totally changed and revolutionized our understanding of ations are significant (Figure 11). tions of the first following terms (C30. was associated with the project to the based techniques along with tracking stations on all the dif- end of the mission (in mid 2001 it is still operating). The big effort carried out by NASA conceived as the WOCE (World Ocean Circulation to co-ordinate international capabilities in the Crustal Experiment) in 1988 at the International Oceanographic Dynamics Program between 1980 and 2000 has to be Conference at the UNESCO (Fu and Cazenave. Seasonal and inter-annual variations of C20 are very radar and an altimeter using a solid state technology. There are several ways of gaining such surements between satellite and ground pointing antennas.) have been also providing. of the orbit and that this error could be later removed thanks to a better gravity field model and to better station positions.16 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE period. than the requirements. C40. a GPS receiver. 5. a complete determina- TOPEX/Poseidon. 5.1. along Our emphasis on this point is just to show that relatively with a crude mechanism of comparison of what we knew minor modifications can greatly increase the scientific before the space era and what we know today in terms of a return of a mission (ESA proceedings. 1997). the horizontal and vertical (SWT).2 Temporal variations of gravity field microwave radiometer. drag effect and the gravity field sensitivity. and Germany proposed a precise radio tracking sys. the 5. NASA would build the satellite.6 year for two more years. respectively. emphasized (D. TIME OF RESULTS – TIME OF 5. JGM. with all the selected Pi’s (Principal Investigators) motion of geodetic stations can be detected by using space and project teams. ment. precise orbits.1 Some results – Scientific progress along the years era.1. as an experiment. an appreciation. TOPEX/Poseidon was decided mainly for scientific objectives and was supposed to be the starter No direct geodetic measurements were possible before for a long-range program. CNES tion of the gravity field with a space resolution up to 500 would launch it using an Ariane 42 P from Kourou (French kilometers or even better has been made (Figure 9). we had only an inaccurate to launch a fully dedicated satellite for satellite altimetry: idea of geodynamic flattening. We can first list some main results.3 Plate tectonic motions It proved to be true. including the ground network of 50 stations. But there were some expectations Averaging techniques have been employed very usefully in that the main source of error was coming from the precision this field for the orbital analyses. Wilson). ferent tectonic plates (Figure 10). at least 3 times larger STARLETTE orbits over 18 and 15 years. Germany) (GRIM Models). A Science Working Team the space geodesy era. 4. Now. The payload was also shared: – NASA took care of the 2 frequency radar altimeters. Smith) as well as the Wegener program in Europe (P.

Figure 10 Velocities of plate tectonic motions deduced from three space geodetic techniques DORIS. A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 17 Figure 9 Precision of different gravity field models obtained from the space geodesy between 1965 and 1985.) . This historical chart was constructed to gain approval for new missions. (CNES/GRGS document. 1998. Toulouse. GPS. expressed in milligals as a function of the space resolution expressed in kilometers. SLR.

as for example in Brest.1. Without such co-ordination. B. They only permitted the detection of large. the crust of the Earth.5 Precise positioning plished in the various techniques have occurred (SLR. The International tidal gauges and records existed but only involving a lim- Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS) has been developed at ited number of stations. Observatoire de Paris. The improvement of hydrody- Before the space geodesy era. Within these frames. Feissel) in co-operation with the the coasts and yield the best estimate of the mean sea level “Institut Géographique National” in France (C. GLONASS. Altamimi) in the 80s. (From the “modélisation des systèmes de références terrestres” by P. no direct measurements could be very closely linked to the ITRS from its beginning in 1984.7 Tides controlled at the international level. co-ordination of the International Association of Geodesy PhD-Université Paul Sabatier. the relative precision of the posi.) (IAG) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU).18 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE Figure 12 Precision of positioning by different space tech- niques over the years. the positions of individual stations are known with an accuracy Before the space geodesy era.6 Earth rotation parameters of precise altimeter data. the determination of the namic models is another factor for assimilating the altime- Earth rotation parameters was based upon astronomical ter data and for having now a very good model of the main observations. GPS. 2000. the terrestrial reference frames are coherent and 5. Sillard. Within some continents. accurate determinations of the of the oceans. PhD. and the mod- eling of the tides in the deep oceans was difficult. The progress much is shown in 105 (10 meters over 1000 kilometers) before the space Figure 5. tidal waves. a few long running series of of about one centimeter (Figure 12). (From “l’étude des systèmes actuels et tional effort performed in this field by the IERS under the futurs de positionnement spatial DORIS” by Florence Bouillé. nor would the progress accom- 5. the situation has drastically been improved with the availability 5. with an accuracy of about 2 cm in many parts scale variations. France for the “Bureau International de I’ Heure” (Observatoire de more than 150 years. VLBI). The tidal dissipation process and its location . Now. DORIS. Guinot. in Z. These records are performed along Paris. The geodetic WGS 84 system was the middle of oceans. Quantitative relationships between variations of speed of Figure 11 Temporal variations of the geocenter in a geodetic rotation and zonal variations of ocean and atmospheric system defined by satellite laser ranging stations linked to mass displacements can also be determined. progress in space geodesy would have been impossible. as they also require permanent tioning of geodetic stations was a little better than about co-ordination and dialogues. Now.1. Now. On the other hand. Boucher and that we can have for the last century. performed except along the coasts of islands. geodesy era. Toulouse.1. M. 1999. These variations are deduced from the It is the opportunity to emphasize the successful interna- LAGEOS Satellites.) Earth’s rotation parameters can be made with a precision corresponding to errors less than 1 cm on the Earth’s crust.

2000. Therefore accurate density profiles. Atlantic ocean and Indian ocean zones from a least-squares inversion of altimetry-based high-resolution mean sea surface and shipboard soundings. Models of the ocean circula- tion exist and first assimilation experiments of new space 5. LEGOS-GRGS/CNES. (Cruises of research vessels measuring example the importance of knowing the geoid).8 Ocean circulation based data have been performed using these separate mod- Before.) . Nowadays. TOGA and take advantage of new technology (better and very precise Figure 13.1. IRD. providing “climatic maps”). Cazenave. Bergé-Nguyen and A. There was not cal point of view and from a perspective established to a homogeneous accuracy on a planetary scale. Calmant. there was a large set of descriptive knowledge els. A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 19 can also be precisely studied. these profiles were averaged in many projects were studied at length both from a theoreti- space and time. Nevertheless. The intercalibration between WOCE experiments were approved and set up to increase the altimetric systems and the tide gauge networks has to be such worldwide coverage. the determination of undertaken on a continuous basis. but it was based upon discrete been well known from the early beginning of altimetry (for measurements. the whole spectrum of sea surface topography has been completed thanks to altimetry. (From S. Toulouse. the limitations of this approach have about ocean circulation.1 Global sea-floor topography in Africa. Noumea M.

In the past. as explained geoid.9 Sea-floor topography from satellite altimetry directly when known. Now.2 As in Figure 13. In the mean sea surface topography. combine much data of various origins including metric data obtained from shipboard soundings. atmospheric effects) can be removed 5. in situ measurements of various data in the deep removed from the mean sea surface topography obtained oceans) from altimetric data. of accurate and high frequency sea floor topography for two Nevertheless. These models. then the remaining variable part can New and original results have been obtained in research be eliminated by averaging the sea surface topography over into the sea-floor topography.1 and 13. oceanic circulation on different scales. Dense well determined by space orbital data only and can be altimetry data over the oceans from ERS1 data (geodetic Figure 13. Consequently. Much better results are obtained in combining bathy- above. the determination a certain period of time.2. From this.20 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE geoid. it is then possible a global determination of the geoid can be computed from to inverse the problem of the geoid determination and to gravity field models with a space resolution of about 500 deduce the sea-floor topography generating the marine kilometers or a little better. the variable part of the oceanic signal (tide. determine a marine geoid.1. Examples altimeter data. the long wavelengths of these models are large areas are given in the Figures 13. .1 but for the Pacific area. it is possible to of geoid was only possible on regional or local scales.

when used with highest GNSS/GALILEO quality receivers but not in real time. But there was such pressure from non-military users that the US government took the decision to fully open the sys- 5.2 A Major turn: GPS. and tem to the public.000 kilometers). many applications are made and Satellite System (NNSS) but had to join with the Army and invented every week for the benefit of everybody. One of the Air force to develop a common navigation system. and that there are also new projects such as the Figure 14 American GPS satellite constellation. and GOCE) and con- by a Coarse Acquisition code (C/A) and the second one by tributions to the International Terrestrial Reference Frame a cryptic classified precise code (code-P). thus to eliminate the unknown part of the codes. They concern the polar motion and the Earth equipped with atomic clocks and transmits downward 2 fre. the GPS outputs are obviously also very satellites in high orbit (20.). The system. The objective was clear: detection of very old large cities (early 2000 B. the DOD decided to geographical maps under the sea. techniques to maintain the confidentiality of their system. (JPL document. The US Navy had Progress in technology with miniaturized equipment made planned to replace their operating Navy Navigation it easier. the essential role of GPS was to make possible the where on the Earth. rotation determined by the International Earth Rotation quencies in the L-band (2 frequencies to filter the ionos. Toulouse. (Figure 14) during the 70s in the USA. bution to the discovery close to the coast of Egypt of two bility of the system.) . The idea was to (ITRF) determination and to crust deformation studies. can provide position- The DOD (Department Of Defense) initiated GPS ing to an accuracy of one centimeter on even better. make only the C/A code available for civilian uses. This the most recent and spectacular uses is the decisive contri- collaboration caused a few delays but augmented the capa. There are 25 satellites orbiting at 20 200 km in 6 different orbital planes with an inclination of 55 with respect to the equator. Some It is important to draw attention to the fact that some other users (scientists being among them) were clever enough to similar projects complement GPS. in position in real time any case. whatever its speed. such as the existing perform precise positioning using differential methods and Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS). These two frequencies are coded: the first one missions (such as CHAMP. GLONASS. Each satellite is important. link between physical soundings and to establish precise To achieve this ambitious objective. Hernandez and Schaeffer 2000). A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 21 orbit of 168 days) were used to construct such images The DOD was worried about this fact and used other (CLS/ARGOS. They also include contributions to gravity phere effect).C. At this level. GRACE. In this particular any object. Service (IERS). begin by setting up and maintaining a constellation of 24 In science.

as shown in a few past examples.1). All scientists must be open to discussion but ready to (DLR) led by the University of Texas and the GFZ pots- defend their opinion with a lot of energy. a second EOLE”. Two years later a group of American geodesists. As a result. the 2 low satellites will be tracked .22 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE GNSS/GALILEO system in Europe (Global Navigation by GPS. It is based on the low – low satellite to satellite patience! Above all. a German satellite successfully launched on Operational in 1978. In other terms and based upon past experiments. USA (1989). at the end of the decade 1990–2000. the Air Force centimeters and any significant progress would request a pre- Research Laboratories (USA). that means an accuracy of one to two centime- – The second program is a joint project between NASA ters. Marketing Advice from Users! tant role in these issues. as it is in many scientific domains. a fac. it happened that a major Fortunately. such modifications hamper the detection of possible systematic errors. cision of 10%. it has been operating without any break from this time on: July 16. In the previous section. the Satellite System) for completing previous systems. was finally successfully launched concerning the gravity missions. at this high level of metrology. they have to welcome the expertise of tracking mode. What does it mean? Just that people with vision have a and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt main part to play in satellite geodesy. Eddies were everywhere and their total energy was as large as the energy of involved in the plementary decisions were taken: main currents. The typical value some cooperation for providing science instruments by of the amplitude of large scale data was in the range 10 to 20 NASA (USA).5 millimeters them to other systems based on other techniques and by for the geoid and of 0. CNES in the 60s proposed to implement 5. maintaining several teams working on them.2) have an isolated team of experts. 2002. we were uncertain about decisions This system. lifetime is expected to be of 3–5 years. Now. gradiometer put inside a satellite equipped with an air sions. satellite. and the ARGOS sys- – The first mission is CHAMP (CHAllenging Mini-satellite tem was designed to respond to the request of oceanographers. had occurred: the eddy activity was not limited to many discussions and fights. one drag free system. It is tor that can play a big role in the cost. they will have the same level of performance or not. this mission the capability of controlling the systems by comparing should provide unprecedented accuracy of 2. when a rather based on satellite-to-satellite tracking in the high-low negative attitude for measuring the plate tectonic motions was mode. the high satellite being the satellites of the GPS generally held.08 milligal for the gravity field. three positive and very com. you are required to have strong interest from so-called users. The reply was even more negative. the meandering of large currents. as discussed at the NASA workshop oceanographers came back and made a strong pleu “we want in Coolfont. The ESA ARISTOTELES in co-operation with NASA. one has 250 kilometers. 2000 in a polar orbit. but finally it was not approved. scientists the more ambitious of all and is based upon an accurate must have access to the data and be involved in the deci. In the mean time. the first mission of the new Earth Explorer program. after discovery. In many cases including Earth space projects. It will be put in a very low orbit of has to take care that. static part and the monthly temporal variations of the traffic control and also maritime and land navigation sys. we proposed altimetry to argue for ocean cir- (GeoForschungs Zentrum) Potsdam in Germany with culation. Although it seems to make sense it is not always so simple. The international GPS service (IGS) plays an impor. CNES/ONERA (France). so as not to with expected resolutions of 100 to 50 km (Figure 15. the scientists have the obligation to look – The third project GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady-State carefully at the new coming systems and study whether Ocean Circulation Explorer) is an European ESA project.3 Gravity decisions the tracking of a fleet of stratospheric balloons in a two-way range and range rate measurement system on a satellite. This is especially impor- tant when faced with very large and superabundant sets of data in which too many parameters might be adjusted. This satellite was implemented by the GFZ Consequently. second. The two low satellites will measure their users rather than asking them for their advices on requesting relative velocity with an accuracy of 1 micrometer/ their support scientists have to offer users opportunities. The gravity mission is Another example comes from the late 60s. project was for a while the common candidate for this Oceanographers were asked to express their possible inter- application nominated by both the European and the est and none was displayed. tems. named EOLE. GRACE was launched on March 16. persuasiveness and dam. Payload). In addition. Launched in mid 2004. as the Earth rotation could only be determined constellation and the low satellite being the CHAMP with poor precision. Earth gravity field (Figure 15. There was a happy ending. It will provide the One of the potential customers will be international air.

assessment can come later. where the Speaking about the metrology of the Earth means there three fields of study are mixed together. the decade 2000–2010 should be the methods. (From ESA-SP1233 (1) document. but as part of global studies. at least in the first phases of a project. In fact. Earth although very important. Some redundancy on the metrological level is necessary. We have received from the analysis of existing data sets a better understand- ing of the type of observing systems we need. p. geo. it is now possible to enhance the main features of this new geodesy with key words: global scale and sampling. the largest benefit from satellite missions mass is the unprecedented sampling capabilities both in space anomaly and time.2 This mission will be realized in Europe by the use in the same scheme both ground based and satellite ESA/GOCE satellite.satellites throughout the mission.) to use a multi-satellite strategy to optimize the sampling. ter results. which is a prerequisite and has to be deployed all over the Earth providing data with an accuracy compatible with the onboard instruments. In fact. We need external checks using other systems of observa- cess of altimetric missions that obviously inspired further tions. One of the reasons for the positive decisions is the suc.satellites 6. The global sampling will give some hope to delineate systematic errors in the observing systems of inadequate modes resulting from the physics or in the assimilation consequently. which has the big advantage of using the same instruments GPS . when appropriate. One of the methods used is to compare observations from satellites with in situ observa- mass tions from calibration and validation sites to gain some anomaly insight into the observational errors but the real assessment has to be done on the global level. Regional studies are possible as well. The onboard instrumentation is the core component. 1999.1 Metrology of the Earth After almost 40 years. The first one is the access to the global scale. Another specific feature is the observing system with its two parts: the onboard instrument and the ground network. other teams working independently with the same gravity missions. The scientists must realize that they have some Figure 15. is a need to look carefully at new advances in technology . observations. some sampling schemes. We need to gradiometry infer the requirements for the observing system not only in terms of sampling but also in terms of accuracy.1 This mission will be realized in the USA by the power. it is not easy to make assessment of the system accuracy. advanced technology. A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 23 GPS . Ultimately. Earth and we are able to study the Earth on planetary scales. 20. The second component is a ground network. consequence of convergent independently gathered results. but such a practice requires calibra- tion and a validation plan. the next step is to Figure 15. SUMMARY: SPACE SCIENCE AND EARTH 6. to propose GRACE Project with German co-operation. SST . The final accuracy of a system will be the decade of gravity. 1999. physicists and geodesists has finally become fruitful. 20. For the first time we can speak about the physics of the globe. p. data management. In some cases. dialogue originally involved altimetry programs. The dialogue between oceanographers. (From ESA. The GOCE mission will enhance altime. observing system and system accuracy. This by verifying the forcasting of specific events.II redundancy.) observations by assimilating them into the same model. However. or results coming from other disciplines. it will be necessary SP1233 (1) document.

sometimes. either in decreasing transmitted energy or in using very When we look at late 70s maps of the sea surface small array of reflectors onboard. baseline of a precise but are reluctant to be fully committed to the space system orbit for TOPEX/Poseidon. The chairman was obliged twice to with time consumed in data processing were a big subject change the session room to welcome an overcrowded audi- of discussion. but scientists or users from acquiring a copy of a data set from we can label that as one of its associated objectives a friend! An interesting point has to be noted. satellites ignore frontiers. The total amount of dissipation can be detected by a laser tories. (Figures 13. We remember a time. GRACE. This new set of data was the basis Data exchange may be still difficult for political reasons for computing the sea-surface topography used now as a but. more accurate determinations of the oceanic phenomenon El Nino 97. maybe to one billion around range observing systems.1 and 13. What will be left as data sets for our As a second example. a recent major result was obtained successors in 10. Indeed. They frequently think that – The progress in stability of the atomic clocks and the future programs will be driven by the so-called applications capability to put such devices onboard satellites is the without any focus on scientific objectives. It was not a primary objective of the mission. Just to give a few significant the world. especially for future studies over very large scientific return. long periods of time. In the past. there are many examples where new – The new device to detect very low levels of optical results come out. also called geodetic fundamental observa.2 Comments about scientific results generation of accelerometers used in the gravity space missions (CHAMP. The real problem is tives so that minor modifications of design can provide a to archive the data. These tides is smaller) provides an energy of about 3 Terawatts. making pos- proud to see the images coming from TOPEX/Poseidon. and ESA to move the ERS 1 satellite to a dedicated orbit allow- to watch the quality of the data including the feedback for ing a grid of 8 kilometers at the equator and triggering the reprocessing the data by taking observations from users and release of altimetric observations made by GEOSAT in the scientists into account. and other hard. when length of day (about 2 ms per century). in design nor in data processing. – The improved short-term stability of quartz oscillators Scientists often acknowledge the potential of satellite data was the basis of the DORIS system. The M2 tide (the role of other long-term or even permanent well-equipped sites. . ered as a curiosity. computed with GEOS 3 altimetric data. will be used as long-term references. there is probably no way to prevent any reference. In the past. it is a not only a domain where the tech. the input from geo- physicists was rather minor. management. GOCE). mainly human means. although they were not a part of the origi- energy provides an impetus to the satellite laser ranging nal main objectives. it was thought that most of this tive audience of people watching the event on TV channels energy was dissipated in shallow seas or coastal zones. 20 or 50 years? from the study of the area of dissipation from the lunar tidal It is also necessary to take care to maintain a set of very component on the Earth. along tonics and altimetry. the Earth–Moon distance by 3.24 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE and to investigate the possible benefit of medium or long would increase drastically. GLONASS and GALILEO. Ten years later we could personally ware and software to collect. sible a tentative realistic scheme for the Earth-Moon system We were happy to realize that in a few weeks the cumula. or to construct aimed at the Moon and the determination of the increase of images that act as anchors. We just want to basis of new navigation and positioning satellite systems give two examples here to highlight persistent scientific such as GPS. with new looking every hour at the occurrence and development of space based techniques. The real issue is or will be technical but ered as a prime objective interesting enough to convince also. we were very the polar motion and the rotation of the Earth. capabilities. – The triaxial microaccelerometer CACTUS onboard the CASTOR satellite (1975) drives currently the new 6. first part of its mission. Jason1 and ENVISAT jointly and think that they have no way to change anything neither with the laser technique. But it remains an ethical problem especially examples: in the sensitive areas like the rôle of oceans in possible climate changes. distribute and archive the data.2). it will be to find resources. remember an AGU session entirely devoted to ocean tec- Data handling. we want to clarify an important issue. The first papers were consid- There are also major steps in computers.8 centimeters per year and The outreach to the public is also very important by the spin slow-down of the Earth or the increase of the and often occurs very quickly. ence of geophysicists. formatting and access. A message to the scientific com- geodesy was in many countries more or less controlled by munity could be given: look at the design of a mission with defense authorities. permanent sites. but any classification was circumvented enough vision to be able to discern such associated objec- very quickly. evolution. Before concluding. We have. The marine geoid was thus consid- niques go fast.

watching satellites and starting to study the density of the nation of 65 degrees was adopted. In the Earth sciences. Le Provost generations of geophysicists. and the exchanges of energy and momentum within the We have experienced that real efficiency requires much Earth-Moon system. project teams decisions. to everything was new. claiming that the so dissipated energy is entists involved in all the phases of the project. The Earth as a living planet was the have access to the filtered dynamical topography and to use object of our research. specifications. we were sharing the Science Working Team (SWT) of TOPEX/Poseidon. found in the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite. they were able to construct a global map of and observations for itself. in the 60s. reprocessing sets of data by taking account the findings of timeters and the lifetime larger than specified. at least. A NEW LOOK AT PLANET EARTH 25 However. activity depends on projects having their own organization. and et al. low atmosphere from visual observations. budget. this tidal schedule. discipline of geosciences had enough interesting questions Consequently. we recognize that we were lucky to have e. For most of the members of SWT. To provide a scientists which may require changes to the processing sys- good image. the relationships are orga- This result highlights the basic link between these questions nized through what we call interfaces. in new result only because the system accuracy was 1–2 cen. but Both of us started to work together in 1960 at the observa- no future program was expected to provide answers. logue in depth. But the real suc- (that we can call “tidal mixing”). Such teamwork is even more crucial for data man- tion. data management are so close that . geodesists. been involved in all the stages in this exciting period. results. As sug. In the example above stabilized after some period of validation. (1994) set up a new global tide hydrodynamic model navigators. beginning. One of us was involved in the determi- model was considered as important and indeed was one of nation of the Earth’s rotation using the observation of stars the drivers in the decision to put TOPEX/Poseidon in a with the Danjon astrolabe. We worked (2000) went further in analyzing long term sequences closely with teams from other fields. we should set associated (not secondary) objectives agement. gested in the past by Munk and Wunsch (1998). The corre. Changing clear from this model that. more interactive relationships between the actors. Le Provost 2001).3 As a conclusion from “end-to-end” to tides (Melchior 1973). It pro- occurs in the North Atlantic. But studying the Earth as a the zones of dissipation. The other one was already non-heliosynchronous orbit. taking account of the new global map of bathymetry. At this time. 40 years later. The second finding is based upon the fact that space sponding data is obtained from in the altimeter. ple and with expertise that they were anxious to share with metric data. Until recently. teams with new peo- (7 years) of the most accurate sets of TOPEX/Poseidon alti. best estimates from different authors To provide such a “tide gauge” it is essential to have sci- were converging. However. as for example. on the basis of efficiency. Scientists started to develop new global tide models (see. an idea which was the dream of it in models of ocean circulation. a prograde orbit with an incli.g. generating coherent energetic internal waves. In addi. It is easier to ask the users about their require- that may be more interesting but assume that we may be ments to build up a data processing system that will be able to modify the specifications. We would like to share with the reader some major find- Before any assimilation of altimetric measurements. it was possible to get a cess only comes if you have feedback. this was really a new behavior. and resources. each that dissipation also occurs in the areas of deep ocean. mission parameters. we can use a sentence of Kerr (2000): tem. The major thing is the scale. this prob- lem was also on the priority list of scientific questions. The proposed explanation is that global planet makes progress only if scientists start a dia- the M2 tidal wave is reflected by tectonic ocean features. In addition to the well known areas. a part of the dissipation scale involves not just enlargement of each field. continuity. In most cases. when the tides were important enough to isolate tidal data. only 40 or 60% of the total energy and questions of how and where the remaining part was dissipated remained broadly open. we need to have prime objectives that will be have to understand the impacts of decisions on scientific achieved if the baseline requirements are fulfilled. In the mixing provides the extra energy required to maintain cir. rules. the tidal washing machine”. indeed. it is necessary to understand the systems proposed for applications. For example. it was ings if not feelings. they found others. astronomers. we have Oceanographers needed a global tide gauge which they seen that the requirements in terms of sampling. Within tories of Paris and Meudon. Egbert and Ray duces global multi-disciplinary approach. “happy end” At the NASA Williamstown meeting (1969). the first computer. The sci- What we learn from this example is as follows: to get entists have to know the technical constraints. and involved the possible role of the Earth’s 6. it seems you have two different worlds and culation in the deep oceans (Wunsch 2000 and Kerr 2000). the famous old IBM 650 called “the there was a subgroup in charge of the tidal model.

as munity exists and that a new way to associate the scientists they won’t see what other benefit is to be expected from such is possible. stant. We take We made some successful tests in proposing a new myth to responsibility for them. RESEARCH AND APPLICATION. but our goal was to testify through our limited perceive the truth. competent and obstinate work over 20 years of our GE is EARTH. The role of in situ is sometimes considered as one SATISFACTION? involving calibration of remote sensing. seasons. to emphasize our common venture we taken by ESA in 1999. G.26 FRANÇOIS BARLIER AND MICHEL LEFEBVRE differences are artificial. GEONAUTS are anxious to control the behavior of their Earth ship and to send around it automated and manned sta- All that was undertaken in these fields was achieved in tions. it was just a vision. Again. not present here all these new fields. us. we have a order to acknowledge our pioneering role. the best is to have the 6. But. When 30 years ago we wrote a proposal after the Williamstown meeting. time. We thank them very much for their advice and lot of fun and contribute to a “happy end for mankind”. they were supposed to write this chapter and we will win and will have a lot of fun”. not here. Make up your mind which party you are going to rea- the SAR interferometry. Come and play with us and you will realize how good you First of all. that a multi-disciplinary com. by far. Or don’t you agree? and assimilated jointly in adequate models. Specific to Earth science is that a part of your system Research and applications from “The Republic” – Plato comes from the networks of in situ measurements and these EDUCATION OF THE PHILOSOPHER ground networks are as important as the space instrumenta. which was an exciting time. the extension of previous studies to planetary anyone else any profit he may get from it? studies. which these studies purify and rekindle after it has been As a general conclusion. new themes like the ice cap son with-or will you ignore both and pursue the argument largely for your own satisfaction. We thought that The GEONAUTS: after 30 years everything was going on except a dedicated EARTH is a space station put successfully in orbit around the mission to determine the gravity field of the planet Earth. This station is manned and has wel. fortunately. we are Nautes on it and navigate in two friends and colleagues over 20 years. “You amuse me”. MY OWN tion. We would . I certainly agree. R. unaware of it will probably think you are talking nonsense. all the works made by the international com. But it is in fact no easy matter. months and years. and so we will have a account. We both were happy to provide our testi- “We” means the geonauts. A degree of perception in telling the is now favoured under the label of integrated programs. Let us borrow the words of our Australian colleague Neville Smith speaking for partnership in international pro- Acknowledgements grams: “You are a good player but nobody knows even you. but very difficult for but that the links between the different tasks will be very people to believe that there is a faculty in the mind of each of important. encouragement. GOCE would be the solar system (as Internautes are surfing on the web). this contribution does not ruined and blinded by other pursuits. In our jargon. preserving than any eye since it is the only organ by which we munity. sailor but equally to the soldier. We can testify that without the con- rename inhabitants of the Earth the GEONAUTS. Rummel and are and how much we need you in the team. we are indebted to Prof.5 billions year ago. with your obvious fear that the public will disapprove if the subjects you prescribe don’t seem end-to-end means that one has to take care of all the tasks useful. the decision to go ahead with GOCE was comed 6 billion people. chiefly for my own satisfaction. Sun 4. like studies. though without grudging dynamics. the different data have to be complementary And the third should be astronomy. We can testify that the situation was stimulating. express this feeling. necessary and efficient. are extremely promising and are in full develop- That’s what I’ll do. we give experience that the improvement of scientific knowledge of your proposals unqualified approval. A testimony may contain some biases or misses. We were very good casting. This extra vehicular activity provides the requested close co-operation with many colleagues during an exciting observations to forecast their future. but those who are quite the planet Earth is a reality. FOR … . We would like and generously proposed that we should be substitutes in to finish with this remark: on our stage we play. mony on these 40 years. Those who agree with us about this. a good scenario called “The New Earth” but sensitive to this and took this opportunity to give a personal we have just to play at the same time. Play together Dr. is useful not only to the farmer and In fact working together is the rule and requires scien. though it is more worth cover. Such an idea is … misleading. he replied. our ship. tific involvement in an “end-to-end” process. but also developed strong and friendly relationships. But we can.4 As another conclusion: Plato active participation of scientists in the system. New techniques. I’ll go on with the discussion ment having produced with rewarding results. Balmino. I said. Such a method – Yes.

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IAU symposium. ocean circulation. Paris: Springer-Verlag. Zlotnicki gave some extra help in reading and improving Giacagla. looking at the number of symposia. Marsh. we did not realize that the time Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). from CERGA (Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur). San Fernando: gressively most of the countries in the world became D. and Joëlle Nicolas symposium. J. permanent geodetic stations equipped IAU symposium 48. Time and the Earth’s rotation. English). Proceedings humility. Florence: workshops for us and thus had acquired some basic knowl. M. Lecture notes in Earth sciences. Fedorov. Proceedings of the 82nd the USSR. (1964). many books … In the satellites. J. (1973). and Feldman. land use. E. G.M. volume I (Soil moisture. will be forgotten. C. Paris: CNES and IGN. (1980). ice sheet. volume III (Winds and waves. IUTAM symposium. sea surface temperature and oceanography. sea level tioning. (1999). 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