The proposedK a band link on the Cassini orbiter can be used for very accurate Doppler tracking. A two-wayK a band coherent link, near opposition, or more complex schemes involving theX-band link also, can virtually eliminate the noise due to interplanetary plasma, giving an accuracy Δf/f better than 10-15 for time scales of (103 ÷ 104) s. To achieve this accuracy, the other error sources, mainly the tropospheric delay and the clock stability, must be accurately controlled. This sensitivity will allow for the first time for a search for gravitational waves of reasonable amplitude.
PACS04.80 Experimental tests of general relativity
PACS95.55 Astronomical and space-research instrumentation
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