Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Lucchesi D., Anselmo L., Pardini C., Peron R., Pucacco G., Visco M. Testing fundamental physics with laser ranged satellites: perspectives and goals of the Larase experiment. In: COSPAR 2014 - 40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly (Moscow, Russia, 2-10 August 2014).
Passive laser-ranged satellites, launched for geodynamics and geophysics purposes, not only have contributed to significant measurements in space geodesy that enabled, among several aspects, a deeper knowledge of the Earth's geopotential (both in its static and dynamic behavior), as well as of the geocenter motion and GM value up to the de nition of the terrestrial reference frame, but they also provided an outstanding test bench to fundamental physics, as in the case of the first measurement of the Lense-Thirring precession on the combined nodes of the two LAGEOS satellites, or in the case of the total relativistic precession of the argument of pericenter of LAGEOS II. Indeed, the physical characteristics of such satellites - such as their low area-to-mass ratio - as well as those of their orbits, and the availability of high-quality tracking data provided by the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS), allow for precise tests of gravitational theories. The aim of LARASE (LAser RAnged Satellites Experiment) is to go a step further in the tests of the gravitational interaction in the field of Earth, i.e. in the weak-field and slow-motion limit of general relativity, by the joint analysis of the orbits of the two LAGEOS satellites and that of the most recent LARES satellite. One of the key ingredients to reach such a goal is to provide high-quality updated models for the perturbing non-gravitational forces acting on the surface of such satellites. A large amount of Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) data of LAGEOS and LAGEOS II has been analyzed using a set of dedicated models for satellite dynamics, and the related post-fit residuals have been analyzed. A parallel work is on-going in the case of LARES that, due to its much lower altitude, is subject to larger gravitational and non-gravitational effects; the latter are mitigated in part by its much lower area-to-mass ratio. Recent work on the data analysis of the orbit of such satellites will be presented together with the development of some new refined models to account for the impact of the subtle and complex non-gravitational perturbations. The general relativistic effects leave peculiar imprint on the satellite orbit, namely in the secular behavior of its three Euler angles. Recent results will be provided together with updated constraints on non-Newtonian gravitational dynamics. The measurement error budget will be discussed, emphasizing the role of the modeling of gravitational and, especially, non-gravitational forces on the overall precise orbit determination quality, as well as on future new measurements and constraints of the gravitational interaction.
Subject LARASE
Non-gravitational Perturbations
General Relativity
Fundamental Physics
70F15 Celestial mechanics

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