Next Article in Journal
Numerical and Experimental Investigations of an Elasto-Flexible Membrane Wing at a Reynolds Number of 280,000
Previous Article in Journal
Bio-Inspired Flexible Flapping Wings with Elastic Deformation
Article Menu
Issue 3 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Aerospace 2017, 4(3), 38; doi:10.3390/aerospace4030038

METRIC: A Dedicated Earth-Orbiting Spacecraft for Investigating Gravitational Physics and the Space Environment

1
Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (IAPS-INAF), 00133 Roma, Italy
2
Department of Industrial Engineering and CISAS “Giuseppe Colombo”, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Darren L. Hitt
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 1 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7134 KB, uploaded 20 July 2017]   |  

Abstract

A dedicated mission in low Earth orbit is proposed to test predictions of gravitational interaction theories and to directly measure the atmospheric density in a relevant altitude range, as well as to provide a metrological platform able to tie different space geodesy techniques. The concept foresees a small spacecraft to be placed in a dawn-dusk eccentric orbit between 450 and 1200 km of altitude. The spacecraft will be tracked from the ground with high precision, and a three-axis accelerometer package on-board will measure the non-gravitational accelerations acting on its surface. Estimates of parameters related to fundamental physics and geophysics should be obtained by a precise orbit determination, while the accelerometer data will be instrumental in constraining the atmospheric density. Along with the mission scientific objectives, a conceptual configuration is described together with an analysis of the dynamical environment experienced by the spacecraft and the accelerometer. View Full-Text
Keywords: fundamental physics; general relativity; space environment; atmospheric density; International Terrestrial Reference Frame; measurement of acceleration; satellite laser ranging; global navigation satellite systems fundamental physics; general relativity; space environment; atmospheric density; International Terrestrial Reference Frame; measurement of acceleration; satellite laser ranging; global navigation satellite systems
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Peron, R.; Lorenzini, E.C. METRIC: A Dedicated Earth-Orbiting Spacecraft for Investigating Gravitational Physics and the Space Environment. Aerospace 2017, 4, 38.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Aerospace EISSN 2226-4310 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top