The participation of GARS O’Higgins (OHG) was an essential precondition for the continuation of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). OHG supported GRACE1 and GRACE2 by providing commanding capability as well as possibilities for additional housekeeping data downlinks. In particular, during several emergency situations of the two satellites, the year-round 24h/7d availability of OHG proved to be essential for the mission: Without the quick reaction of the OHG team “loss of mission” would have been a likely consequence.
The scientific relevance of the continuation of the GRACE-mission has been demonstrated by Ivins and others (2011), who investigated GRACE data combined with bedrock uplift derived from GPS data to quantify on-land ice loss during 2003 and 2009 and to simultaneously postulate a relationship between ice loss and solid Earth glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) at the Drake Passage.
Ivins, E.R., M.M. Watkins, D.-N. Yuan, R. Dietrich, G. Casassa and A. Rülke. 2011. On-land ice loss and glacial isostatic adjustment at the Drake Passage: 2003–2009. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 116: B2403.