Gravity Mission

Mission Status: Ended on 21 October 2013
Launch Date: 17 March 2009
Instrument Type: Gravity instruments, precision orbit

The Gravity field and Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) mission’s main objective was to measure Earth's gravity in unprecedented detail using a highly sensitive gradiometer. GOCE's data provided scientists with an improved understanding of ocean circulation, sea level change, and glacial dynamics. GOCE also produced the first global gravity model of Earth with a spatial resolution of less than 100 km.

Scientific Instruments

Electrostatic Gravity Gradiometer (EGG): Measured Earth's gravity field in all directions with a set of six three-axis accelerometers.


Satellite to Satellite Tracking Instrument (SSTI): Supplemented the gradiometer measurements and measured Earth's gravity field by tracking the satellite's position and velocity with high precision.
Star Tracker (STR): An optical camera system, designed to measure the orientation of the satellite with respect to the stars
Magnetometers (MGM): Used for magnetic torquer control and as rate sensors.
Laser Retro Reflector (LRR): Used to precisely determine the satellite's position in orbit.
related data applications