MICAERO/SD focusses at the determination of atmospheric density based on MICROSCOPE accelerometer data. End of 2017 CNES called for ideas of technical experiments for the french MICROSCOPE satellite as an expansion of its main mission of determining the validity of the equivalence principle.
An international collaboration with french, german and dutch participation proposed to put MICROSCOPE in a non-drag-free mode to directly measure the non-gravitational perturbations including atmospheric drag. This is motivated by the lack of density measurements in high LEO orbits and the corresponding inaccuracies of currently available drag models used in precise orbit determination and propagation. CNES positively evaluated the proposal and scheduled a series of Aeronomy measurements which are evaluated within this project.
ZARM is analysing the accelerometer data and determinaes the density parameter by modelling and subsequently extracting all individual acceleration componenents from the measurement. This work is supported by the German Space Agency (DLR) with funds of the BMWi (FKZ 50 OY 1305) and (FKZ 50 LZ 1802).