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The purpose of satellite-to-satellite tracking (SST) and/or satellite gravity gradiometry (SGG) is to determine the gravitational field on and outside the Earth's surface from given gradients of the gravitational potential and/or the gravitational field at satellite altitude. In this paper both satellite techniques are analysed and characterized from mathematical point of view. Uniqueness results are formulated. The justification is given for approximating the external gravitational field by finite linear combination of certain gradient fields (for example, gradient fields of single-poles or multi-poles) consistent to a given set of SGG and/or SST data. A strategy of modelling the gravitational field from satellite data within a multiscale concept is described; illustrations based on the EGM96 model are given.

The mathematical formulation of many physical problems results in the task of inverting a compact operator. The only known sensible solution technique is regularization which poses a severe problem in itself. Classically one dealt with deterministic noise models and required both the knowledge of smoothness of the solution function and the overall error behavior. We will show that we can guarantee an asymptotically optimal regularization for a physically motivated noise model under no assumptions for the smoothness and rather weak assumptions on the noise behavior which can mostly obtained out of two input data sets. An application to the determination of the gravitational field out of satellite data will be shown.