Abstract

The Earth, Mars, Sun, Jupiter system allows for a sensitive test of the strong equivalence principle (SEP) which is qualitatively different from that provided by Lunar Laser Ranging. Using analytic and numerical methods we demonstrate that Earth-Mars ranging can provide a useful estimate of the SEP parameter $\eta$. Two estimates of the predicted accuracy are derived and quoted, one based on conventional covariance analysis, and another (called ``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 SEP parameter $\eta$ will be of order $(1-12)\times 10^{-4}\sigma$. These ranging measurements will also provide the most accurate determination of the mass of Jupiter, independent of the SEP effect test. (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas.)

Publication Date

3-1-1996

Comments

Also archived at: arXiv:gr-qc/9510029 v1 16 Oct 1995 MG acknowledges the partial support by an AWU-JPL sabbatical fellowship. KLN was supported in part by National Aeronautic and Space Administration throughout Contract NASW-4840. SGT was supported by National Research Council, Resident Research Associateship award. This work was carried out in part at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with National Aeronautic and Space Administration.ISSN:1538-4357 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Article

Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)

Campus

RIT – Main Campus

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