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The global positioning system, relativity, and extraterrestrial navigation

  • Neil Ashby (a1) and Robert A. Nelson (a2)

Abstract

Relativistic effects play an important role in the performance of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and in world-wide time comparisons. The GPS has provided a model for algorithms that take relativistic effects into account. In the future exploration of space, analogous considerations will be necessary for the dissemination of time and for navigation. We discuss relativistic effects that are important for a navigation system such as at Mars. We describe relativistic principles and effects that are essential for navigation systems, and apply them to navigation satellites carrying atomic clocks in orbit about Mars, and time transfer between Mars and Earth. It is shown that, as in the GPS, relativistic effects are not negligible.

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Copyright

References

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Ashby, N. & Bertotti, B. 1986 Phys. Rev., D34, 22462258
Nelson, R. A. 1987 J. Math. Phys., 28, 23792383; ibid. 35, 6224–6225
Ashby, N. 2002 Phys. Today, 55 (5)4147
Petit, G. & Wolf, P. 1994 Astron. Astrophys. 286, 971977
Nelson, R. A. 2007 “Relativistic Time Transfer in the Solar System”, Proc. EFTF/IEEE-FCS, Geneva, 1278–1283
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Keywords

The global positioning system, relativity, and extraterrestrial navigation

  • Neil Ashby (a1) and Robert A. Nelson (a2)

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