European Space Agency 5th International GOCE user workshop

When, local time: 
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 -
9:00am to 2:00pm
Where: 
France, Paris
Type of Event: 
Meeting by Member States or Institutions

The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), designed to provide information for understanding critical Earth system variables, was ESA’s first Earth Explorer satellite in orbit. The main objective was to map our planet’s gravity field in unprecedented detail. An accurate gravity map is crucial for geodesy applications and for defining a sea surface height reference model with which to accurately survey ocean circulation patterns and sea-level changes.

At the opening of the 5th International GOCE User Workshop on 25 November at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, experts will discuss the mission’s contribution to our knowledge of ocean circulation, solid earth physics, upper atmosphere and geodesy.

Estimates of and variations in Antarctic land ice mass measured by GOCE will also be presented – something that was never planned or even deemed possible through this mission, which yielded a wealth of data with very diverse applications.

Particular focus will be given to the improved measurements obtained during the satellite’s second mission when its super-low orbit was lowered even further during its final year of life.

The mission mapped variations in Earth’s gravity with unrivalled precision, resulting in the most accurate shape of the ‘geoid’ – a hypothetical global ocean at rest – ever produced. On 21 October 2013, the mission came to a natural end when it ran out of fuel. Three weeks later, on 11 November, the satellite disintegrated in the lower atmosphere.

Although its flight is over, the wealth of data from GOCE continues to be exploited to improve our understanding of ocean circulation, sea level, ice dynamics and Earth’s interior.

This workshop will highlight GOCE’s most recent scientific results. It will also provide media representatives with the opportunity to speak to representatives of ESA and the French space agency CNES, as well as to key scientists.

The conference is open to all scientists interested in the GOCE mission and its data products; upon registration.