Microscope Instrument Development, Lessons for GOCE
Author: Touboul, P.
Source: Space Science Reviews, Volume 108, Number 1, 2003 , pp. 393-408(16)
Two space missions are presently under development with payload based on ultra-sensitive electrostatic accelerometers. The GOCE mission takes advantage of a three axis gradiometer accommodated in a very stable thermal case on board a drag-free satellite orbiting at a very low altitude of 250 km. This ESA mission will perform the very highly accurate mapping of the Earth gravity field with a geographical resolution of 100 km. The MICROSCOPE mission is devoted to the test of the “Universality of free fall” in view of the verification of the Einstein Equivalence Principle (EP) and of the search of a new interaction. The MICROSCOPE instrument is composed of two pairs of differential electrostatic accelerometers and the accelerometer proof-masses are the bodies of the EP test. The satellite is also a drag-free satellite exhibiting a fine attitude control and in a certain way, each differential accelerometer is a one axis gradiometer with an arm of quite null length. The development of this instrument much interests the definition and the evaluation of the sensor cores of the gradiometer. The in flight calibration process of both instruments is also very similar. Lessons form these parallel developments are presented.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Physical Instrumentation Department, ONERA, F-92322 Chatillon Cedex, France (email@example.com)
Publication date: 2003-01-01