Authors: Slava G. Turyshev, Viktor T. Toth, Mikhail V. Sazhin
Date: 2 Dec 2012
Abstract: We present a realization of astronomical relativistic reference frames in the solar system and its application to the GRAIL mission. We model the necessary spacetime coordinate transformations for light-trip time computations and address some practical aspects of the implementation of the resulting model. We develop all the relevant relativistic coordinate transformations that are needed to describe the motion of the GRAIL spacecraft and to compute all observable quantities. We take into account major relativistic effects contributing to the dual one-way range observable, which is derived from one-way signal travel times between the two GRAIL spacecraft. We develop a general relativistic model for this fundamental observable of GRAIL, accurate to 1 $\mu$m. We develop and present a relativistic model for another key observable of this experiment, the dual one-way range-rate, accurate to 1 $\mu$m/s. The presented formulation justifies the basic assumptions behind the design of the GRAIL mission. It may also be used to further improve the already impressive results of this lunar gravity recovery experiment after the mission is complete. Finally, we present transformation rules for frequencies and gravitational potentials and their application to GRAIL.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis