Laser-ranged satellite measurement now accurately reflects Earth's tidal perturbations (Vol. 49, No. 2)

Lustbühel Satellite Laser Tacking. Credit: Jörg Weingrill (CC BY 2.0 [5])

The most precise ever laser satellite measurement method provides new clues to relativity

Tides on Earth have a far-reaching influence, including disturbing satellites’ measurements by affecting their motion. This disturbance can be studied using a model for the gravitational potential of the Earth, taking into account the fact that Earth’s shape is not spherical. The LAser RElativity Satellite (LARES), is the best ever relevant test particle to move in the Earth’s gravitational field. In a new study published, LARES proves its efficiency for high-precision probing of General Relativity and fundamental physics. By studying the Earth’s tidal perturbations acting on the LARES, the authors demonstrate the value of laser-range satellites for high-precision measurements.

V.G. Gurzadyan, I. Ciufolini, H.G. Khachatryan, S. Mirzoyan, A. Paolozzi, and G. Sindoni, On the Earth’s tidal perturbations for the LARES satellite, Eur. Phys. J. Plus 132, 548 (2017)