[1109.6201] A relativistic navigation system for space

Authors: Angelo Tartaglia, Matteo Luca Ruggiero, Emiliano Capolongo

Date: 28 Sep 2011

Abstract: We present here a method for the relativistic positioning in spacetime based on the reception of pulses from sources of electromagnetic signals whose worldline is known. The method is based on the use of a four-dimensional grid covering the whole spacetime and made of the null hypersurfaces representing the propagating pulses. In our first approach to the problem of positioning we consider radio-pulsars at infinity as primary sources of the required signals. The reason is that, besides being very good clocks, pulsars can be considered as being fixed stars for reasonably long times. The positioning is obtained linearizing the worldline of the observer for times of the order of a few periods of the signals. We present an exercise where the use of our method applied to the signals from four real pulsars permits the reconstruction of the motion of the Earth with respect to the fixed stars during three days. The uncertainties and the constraints of the method are discussed and the possibilities of using moving artificial sources carried around by celestial bodies or spacecrafts in the Solar System is also discussed.

abs pdf

Sep 30, 2011

1109.6201 (/preprints)
2011-09-30, 11:48 [edit]

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