Contribution of the Gravity Probe B Mission to Geodesy and to Satellite Navigation View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:Chapter     


Chapter Info

DATE

1990

AUTHORS

Mark B. Tapley , John V. Breakwell , C. W. F. Everitt

ABSTRACT

The Gravity Probe B (GP-B) experiment, under development at Stanford University for over twenty years, is designed to measure with high precision two extremely important effects of Einstein’s general theory of relativity as observed with gyroscopes in Earth orbit. These are respectively the frame-dragging effect exerted by a spinning body (the Earth) on an angular momentum vector (the set of gyroscopes), and the relativistic “geodetic” effect resulting from the motion of the gyroscope in its orbit through the curvature in space-time produced by the Earth’s mass. Because the frame-dragging effect is very small — in this case, only 0.042 arcseconds per year as defined with respect to the line of sight to a distant guide star — we must meet several stringent conditions in order to measure it to the 1% precision or better that is the goal of the experiment. In particular we need make the Gravity Probe B spacecraft “drag free” and need carry on it a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver for precise orbit tracking. In doing this in a satellite of relatively low altitude (650 km) in polar orbit around the Earth, we create a system that will also, as an unexpected “coexperiment”, improve knowledge of the Earth’s gravity field by a factor of 100 to 1000. More... »

PAGES

89-96

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/978-1-4612-3404-3_11

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-3404-3_11

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1013549453


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