Testing the strong equivalence principle with Mars ranging data

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Title: Testing the strong equivalence principle with Mars ranging data
Author: Anderson, John; Gross, Mark; Lau, Eunice; Nordtvedt, Kenneth; Turyshev, Slava
Abstract: The year 1996 will mark the initiation of a number of new space missions to the planet Mars from which we expect to obtain a rich set of data, including spacecraft radio tracking data. Anticipating these events, we have analyzed the feasibility of testing a violation of the strong equivalence principle (SEP) with Earth-Mars ranging. Using analytic and numerical methods, we have demonstrated that ranging data can provide a useful estimate of the SEP parameter $\eta$. Two estimates of the predicted accuracy are quoted, one based on conventional covariance analysis, and the other based on ``modified worst case'' analysis, which assumes that systematic errors dominate the experiment. If future Mars missions provide ranging measurements with an accuracy of $\sigma$ meters, after ten years of ranging the expected accuracy for the parameter $\eta$ will be of order $\sigma_\eta\approx (1-12)\times 10^{-4}\sigma $. In addition, these ranging measurements will provide a significantly improved determination of the mass of the Jupiter system, independent of the test of the {\small SEP} polarization effect. (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas.)
Description: "Testing the Strong Equivalence Principle with Mars Ranging Data," Proceedings of the Second William Fairbank Conference. Held at Hong Kong Polytechnic: Hong Kong: 13-16 December 1993. AND also archived at: arXiv:astro-ph/9510157 v1 31 Oct 1995
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/2113
Date: 1993-12-13

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