[1104.0060] Astrodynamical Space Test of Relativity using Optical Devices I (ASTROD I) - A class-M fundamental physics mission proposal for Cosmic Vision 2015-2025: 2010 Update

Authors: Claus Braxmaier, Hansjörg Dittus, Bernard Foulon, Ertan Göklü, Catia Grimani, Jian Guo, Sven Herrmann, Claus Lämmerzahl, Wei-Tou Ni, Achim Peters, Benny Rievers, Étienne Samain, Hanns Selig, Diana Shaul, Drazen Svehla, Pierre Touboul, Gang Wang, An-Ming Wu, Alexander F. Zakharov

Date: 1 Apr 2011

Abstract: This paper on ASTROD I is based on our 2010 proposal submitted for the ESA call for class-M mission proposals, and is a sequel and an update to our previous paper [Experimental Astronomy 23 (2009) 491-527; designated as Paper I] which was based on our last proposal submitted for the 2007 ESA call. In this paper, we present our orbit selection with one Venus swing-by together with orbit simulation. In Paper I, our orbit choice is with two Venus swing-bys. The present choice takes shorter time (about 250 days) to reach the opposite side of the Sun. We also present a preliminary design of the optical bench, and elaborate on the solar physics goals with the radiation monitor payload. We discuss telescope size, trade-offs of drag-free sensitivities, thermal issues and present an outlook. ASTROD I is a planned interplanetary space mission with multiple goals. The primary aims are: to test General Relativity with an improvement in sensitivity of over 3 orders of magnitude, improving our understanding of gravity and aiding the development of a new quantum gravity theory; to measure key solar system parameters with increased accuracy, advancing solar physics and our knowledge of the solar system; and to measure the time rate of change of the gravitational constant with an order of magnitude improvement and the anomalous Pioneer acceleration, thereby probing dark matter and dark energy gravitationally. It is envisaged as the first in a series of ASTROD missions. ASTROD I will consist of one spacecraft carrying a telescope, four lasers, two event timers and a clock. Two-way, two-wavelength laser pulse ranging will be used between the spacecraft in a solar orbit and deep space laser stations on Earth, to achieve the ASTROD I goals.

abs pdf

Apr 04, 2011

1104.0060 (/preprints)
2011-04-04, 10:08 [edit]

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