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General Relativity Measurements in the Field of Earth with Laser-Ranged Satellites: State of the Art and Perspectives

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Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (IAPS)-Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), 00133 Roma, Italy
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Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell’Informazione (ISTI)-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 56124 Pisa, Italy
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Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Roma Tor Vergata, 00133 Roma, Italy
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Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Roma, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Universe 2019, 5(6), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe5060141
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
Recent results of the LARASE research program in terms of model improvements and relativistic measurements are presented. In particular, the results regarding the development of new models for the non-gravitational perturbations that affect the orbit of the LAGEOS and LARES satellites are described and discussed. These are subtle and complex effects that need a deep knowledge of the structure and the physical characteristics of the satellites in order to be correctly accounted for. In the field of gravitational measurements, we present a new measurement of the relativistic Lense-Thirring precession with a 0.5 % precision. In this measurement, together with the relativistic effect we also estimated two even zonal harmonics coefficients. The uncertainties of the even zonal harmonics of the gravitational field of the Earth have been responsible, until now, of the larger systematic uncertainty in the error budget of this kind of measurements. For this reason, the role of the errors related to the model used for the gravitational field of the Earth in these measurements is discussed. In particular, emphasis is given to GRACE temporal models, that strongly help to reduce this kind of systematic errors. View Full-Text
Keywords: satellite laser ranging; LAGEOS satellites; perturbations; models; general relativity; Lense-Thirring effect satellite laser ranging; LAGEOS satellites; perturbations; models; general relativity; Lense-Thirring effect
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Lucchesi, D.M.; Anselmo, L.; Bassan, M.; Magnafico, C.; Pardini, C.; Peron, R.; Pucacco, G.; Visco, M. General Relativity Measurements in the Field of Earth with Laser-Ranged Satellites: State of the Art and Perspectives. Universe 2019, 5, 141.

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