LAGEOStype satellites in critical supplementary orbit configuration and the LenseThirring effect detection
Abstract
In this paper we analyse quantitatively the concept of LAGEOStype satellites in critical supplementary orbit configuration (CSOC) which has proved capable of yielding various observables for many tests of general relativity in the terrestrial gravitational field, with particular emphasis on the measurement of the LenseThirring effect. By using an entirely new pair of LAGEOStype satellites in identical, supplementary orbits with, e.g., semimajor axes a = 12 000 km, eccentricity e = 0.05 and inclinations i_{S1} = 63.4° and i_{S2} = 116.6°, it would be possible to cancel out the impact of the mismodelling of the static part of the gravitational field of the Earth to a very high level of accuracy. The departures from the ideal supplementary orbital configuration due to the orbital injection errors would yield systematic gravitational errors of the order of a few per cent, according to the covariance matrix of the EGM96 gravity model up to degree l = 20. However, the forthcoming, new gravity models from the CHAMP and GRACE missions should greatly improve the situation. So, it should be possible to measure the gravitomagnetic shifts of the sum of their nodes Σ\dotΩ^{LT} with an accuracy level perhaps less than 1%, of the difference of their perigees Δ\dotω^{LT} with an accuracy level of 5% and of ≡ Σ\dotΩ^{LT}  Δ\dotω^{LT} with an accuracy level of 2.8%. Such results, which are due to the nongravitational perturbations mismodelling, have been obtained for an observational time span of about 6 years and could be further improved by fitting and removing from the analysed time series the major timevarying perturbations which have known periodicities.
 Publication:

Classical and Quantum Gravity
 Pub Date:
 July 2003
 DOI:
 10.1088/02649381/20/13/302
 arXiv:
 arXiv:grqc/0209027
 Bibcode:
 2003CQGra..20.2477I
 Keywords:

 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
 Astrophysics;
 Physics  Space Physics
 EPrint:
 LaTex2e, 20 pages, 7 Tables, 6 Figures. Changes in Introduction, Conclusions, reference added, accepted for publication in Classical and Quantum Gravity