Today the investigation of the dynamical aspects of general relativity and gravitational interactions are especially important. This is due to recent discoveries in cosmology, and in particular to the recent discovery of dark energy. The most interesting potential explanation of the dark energy occurs in string theory, and may require a violation of general relativity. One way of testing General Relativity at the highest precision uses laser ranged satellites such as LAGEOS I and LAGEOS II, launched by NASA and NASA-ASI in 1976 and 1992 respectively. More than 40 stations on Earth will range those satellites, and the proposed satellite LARES, using laser pulses, with accuracies that may reach a millimeter at distances of 6000 km. The objectives of the LARES mission are to measure specific aspects of general relativity such as the Lense-Thirring effect that is induced by the Earth’s angular momentum and that is not predicted by Newton’s laws. It will also test the equivalence principle and improve the measurement of some post-Newtonian parameters and the inverse square law for very weak gravity fields. These and other tests will be described in the paper. In addition to the scientific objectives, the engineering aspects of the mission will be analyzed, that is: the ground segment, the satellite and the launch system. Among these, particular emphasis should be placed on the selection and the test of the satellite retroreflectors. Proposed tests on the cube corner retroreflectors will be described. In addition, some results concerning the general relativity tests obtained with LAGEOS and LAGEOS II are presented. A similar measurement, but much more accurate, will be achieved with LARES.
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|Titolo:||The LARES Mission for Testing the Dynamics of General Relativity|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2003|
|Appare nella tipologia:||04a Atto di comunicazione a congresso|