Journal Highlights

New density estimates derived using accelerometers on-board the CHAMP and GRACE satellites

Editors’ Highlight—This paper provides a freely available and updated derivation of thermospheric neutral density estimates from the accelerometers on-board the CHAMP and the twin GRACE satellites for the interval 2002-2010. The revised estimates use new state-of-the-art gas-surface interaction models and more realistic modeling of satellite geometry using the Test Particle Monte Carlo numerical simulations to improve the estimates of the drag coefficients. The derived density values are compared against results from the density estimates of Sutton [2008] and Doornbos [2012], as well as those from the MSIS00, HASDM and GITM neutral density models. The newly derived density values show an average bias of 14-18% for CHAMP and 10-24% for GRACE with respect to the original data sets, depending on the space weather conditions.