TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 52 (No. 10), pp. 863-866, 2000


Airborne geoid determination

R. Forsberg1, A. Olesen1, L. Bastos2, A. Gidskehaug3, U. Meyer4, and L. Timmen5

1KMS, Geodynamics Department, Rentemestervej 8, 2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark
2Astronomical Observatory, University of Porto, Portugal
3Institute of Solid Earth Physics, University of Bergen, Norway
4Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
5Geo Forschungs Zentrum, Potsdam, Germany

(Received January 17, 2000; Revised August 18, 2000; Accepted August 18, 2000)

Abstract: Airborne geoid mapping techniques may provide the opportunity to improve the geoid over vast areas of the Earth, such as polar areas, tropical jungles and mountainous areas, and provide an accurate "seam-less" geoid model across most coastal regions. Determination of the geoid by airborne methods relies on the development of airborne gravimetry, which in turn is dependent on developments in kinematic GPS. Routine accuracy of airborne gravimetry are now at the 2 mGal level, which may translate into 5-10 cm geoid accuracy on regional scales. The error behaviour of airborne gravimetry is well-suited for geoid determination, with high-frequency survey and downward continuation noise being offset by the low-pass gravity to geoid filtering operation. In the paper the basic principles of airborne geoid determination are outlined, and examples of results of recent airborne gravity and geoid surveys in the North Sea and Greenland are given.

Corresponding author E-mail: rf@kms.dk

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