The 5 years design life time of the GRACE satellites has been reached on March 17, 2007. The satellites, instruments and ground systems are working well and the predicted remaining life time exceeds 5 years in every category. Following a comprehensive re-analysis which was completed in February 2007, the GRACE Science Data System has released a homogeneously reprocessed time series using updated background models and processing standards (Release 04). These improvements have enabled considerable progress in analysing mass transports and mass distributions in the Earth system. The launch of the GOCE satellite in December 2007 will further increase our knowledge of the static gravity field. GRACE-1 radio occultation measurements are routinely generated since autumn 2006 and are already assimilated together with CHAMP, COSMIC and METOP RO data by weather services.
The extreme success of the modern gravity missions has initiated a coordinated German national special priority program (SPP) "Mass Transport and Mass Distribution in the Earth System" which will be funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for six years between 2007 and 2012. The first results which have been achieved within the different interdisciplinary projects shall be presented at a SPP symposium.
The next GRACE Science Team Meeting (GSTM) is intended to assess the status of the science outcomes from GRACE, the interesting open questions, and future directions in GRACE science. The meeting will also address report on the project status including future science plans, the flight segment technical status, and latest status and information on the data releases provided by from the GRACE Science Data System. Additionally the GRACE Science Team members are expected to report on applications using Release 04 GRACE data products.
As the context of the SPP and the GSTM is so in common it has been decided to combine both meetings to a Joint International GSTM and DFG SPP Symposium which will take place at GFZ Potsdam (http://www.gfz-potsdam.de) in Germany on October 15-17, 2007. It will focus on the recent progress in applications in the fields of transformation of satellite sensor data to mass signals, oceanic transports, continental hydrology, ice mass balance and sea level change, glacial isostatic adjustment, dynamics and structure of mantle and crust or consistent data combination and mass signal combination. The preliminary program will be made available mid of August. The meeting will consist of oral and poster presentations. For details on registration, abstract submission, and housing arrangements follow the navigation bar on the left.
The draft schedule of the symposium is as follows:
August 6: Preliminary program available
until September 16: Submission of abstracts
October 8: Final program available
Looking forward to see you in Potsdam
Byron Tapley (GRACE PI)
Markus Rothacher (GRACE Co-PI)
Karl-Heinz Ilk (DFG SPP coordinator)