An improved model of the Earth's gravitational field is developed from a combination of conventional satellite tracking, satellite altimeter measurements, and surface gravimetric data (GEM-T3). This model gives improved performance for the computation of satellite orbital effects as well as a superior representation of the geoid from that achieved in any previous Goddard Earth Model. The GEM-T3 model uses altimeter data directly to define the orbits, geoid, and dynamic height fields. Altimeter data acquired during the GEOS-3 (1975-1976), SEASAT (1978), and GEOSAT (1986-1987) missions were used to compute GEM-T3. In order to accommodate the non-gravitational signal mapped by these altimeters, spherical harmonic models of the dynamic height of the ocean surface were recovered for each mission simultaneously with the gravitational field. The tracking data utilized in the solution includes more than 1300 arcs of data encompassing 31 different satellites. The observational data base is highly dependent on SLR, but also includes TRANET Doppler, optical, S-Band average range-rate and satellite-to-satellite tracking acquired between ATS-6 and GEOS-3. The GEM-T3 model has undergone extensive error calibration.
In: From Mars to Greenland: Charting gravity with space and airborne instruments - Fields, tides, methods, results (A93-55951 24-46); p. 29-44.