GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

The CHAMP Mission

Project Director: Prof. Dr. Hermann Lühr


CHAMP (CHAllenging Minisatellite Payload) is a German small satellite mission for geoscientific and atmospheric research and applications, managed by GFZ. With its highly precise, multifunctional and complementary payload elements (magnetometer, accelerometer, star sensor, GPS receiver, laser retro reflector, ion drift meter) and its orbit characteristics (near polar, low altitude, long duration) CHAMP will generate for the first time simultaneously highly precise gravity and magnetic field measurements over a 5 years period. This will allow to detect besides the spatial variations of both fields also their variability with time. The CHAMP mission had opened a new era in geopotential research and had become a significant contributor to the Decade of Geopotentials.

In addition with the radio occultation measurements onboard the spacecraft and the infrastructure developed on ground, CHAMP had become a pilot mission for the pre-operational use of space-borne GPS observations for atmospheric and ionospheric research and applications in weather prediction and space weather monitoring.

End of the mission of CHAMP was at September 19 2010, after ten years, two month and four days, after 58277 orbits.


Science & Mission Background
Project & Partners
Organisation & Responsibilities, Partners
Science Objectives
Earth Gravity Field Recoverery, Earth Magnetic Field Recoverery, Electric Field Investigations, Atmospheric Limb Sounding, Ionosphere Sounding
Science Results
First Earth Gravity Field Model Including CHAMP Tracking Data, First Occultation Measurements
Satellite System
Satellite, Subsystems, Science Instruments
Mission & Orbit
Orbit Characteristics, Launch, Nominal Orbit, Mission Phases, Prediction Products
Operation & Data
Ground Segment, Mission Operation System (MOS), Science Operation System (SOS), Science Data System (SDS)
References & More
References, Picture Gallery, Links
Contact Information, Addresses of Key Personnal

The 10 Years anniversary of CHAMP will be celebrated with a colloquium on

June 30 2010

by GFZ Potsdam.

More information (Program, Travel-Information and Map, etc.) is provided by this link.

02 June 2010.
At February 22, 2010, 03:15 UTC till about 03:57 UTC, CHAMP was turned in a scheduled manoeuvre and is now configured to fly with the boom trailing.

This was done in preparation for the final phase of the CHAMP mission to minimize the need for gas consumption during the impending orbital decay.

On the other hand it can be taken as a test of the influence of the wake effect for the incoming ESA mission Swarm, which is designed to use the trailing boom configuration.

24 Feb 2010.

Go to older news For further information contact:
CHAMP Data Center (ISDC)
International Centre for Global Earth Models (ICGEM)
Global Geomagnetic Field Models of the Earth
New Gravity Field Model EIGEN-CHAMP03S
Combined Gravity Field Model EIGEN-CG01C
CHAMP Current Orbit Data
CHAMP Picture Gallery
CHAMP Online Available Documents
CHAMP Newsletter
CHAMP related press releases

History of GRACE/CHAMP related press
CHAMP related meetings
Jul 6 - 8, 2004: Joint CHAMP/GRACE Science Meeting , held at GeoForschungsZentrum , Potsdam

History of CHAMP related meetings

Combination Gravity Field Model EIGEN-CG01C (CHAMP-GRACE-TERR.)

GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Hermann Lühr.    [before 2009 by A.Helm, 2010 Feb 25 & 2010 Nov 08 & 2013 Jan 15 by Martin Rother]