We introduce an operational approach to the use of pulsating sources, located at spatial infinity, for defining a relativistic positioning and navigation system, based on the use of four-dimensional bases of null four-vectors, in flat spacetime. As a prototypical case, we show how pulsars can be used to define such a positioning system. The reception of the pulses for a set of different sources whose positions in the sky and periods are assumed to be known allows the determination of the user’s coordinates and spacetime trajectory, in the reference frame where the sources are at rest. We describe our approach in flat Minkowski spacetime, and discuss the validity of this and other approximations we have considered.
Advances in Space Research
- Pub Date:
- February 2011
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Physics - Space Physics
- 19 pages, revised to match the version accepted for publication in Advances in Space Research