[1110.0342] Measuring the absolute non-gravitational acceleration of a spacecraft: goals, devices, methods, performances

Authors: Benjamin Lenoir, Bruno Christophe, Serge Reynaud

Date: 3 Oct 2011

Abstract: Space provides unique opportunities to test gravitation. By using an interplanetary spacecraft as a test mass, it is possible to test General Relativity at the Solar System distance scale. This requires to compute accurately the trajectory of the spacecraft, a process which relies on radio tracking and is limited by the uncertainty on the spacecraft non-gravitational acceleration.
The Gravity Advanced Package (GAP) is designed to measure the non-gravitational acceleration without bias. It is composed of an electrostatic accelerometer supplemented by a rotating stage. This article presents the instrument and its performances, and describes the method to make unbiased measurements. Finally, it addresses briefly the improvement brought by the instrument as far as orbit reconstruction is concerned.

abs pdf

Oct 04, 2011

1110.0342 (/preprints)
2011-10-04, 17:39 [edit]

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