Measurement of Frame Dragging with Geodetic Satellites Based on Gravity Field Models from CHAMP, GRACE and Beyond

  • Rolf KönigEmail author
  • Ignazio Ciufolini
Part of the Fundamental Theories of Physics book series (FTPH, volume 196)


The experimental measurement of frame-dragging or the Lense-Thirring (LT) effect based on Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) observations to the LAGEOS satellites was successfully demonstrated with an accuracy of about 10%. Here we look in detail into the effect of the node drift induced by the time variable part of the C(2,0) term of the gravity field model describing the flattening of the Earth. We demonstrate that errors in C(2,0) can effectively be taken care of by analyzing two satellites for the LT measurement. We also adopt some recent gravity field models in order to independently repeat and extend the LT experiments so far. The gravity field models used for this are derived either partly depending on LAGEOS SLR observations or completely independent from LAGEOS, and based on dedicated gravity field satellite missions like CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE. It turns out that from all the gravity field models tested the claimed accuracy of 10% of the LT measurement can be confirmed.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZWesslingGermany
  2. 2.Dip. Ingegneria dell’InnovazioneUniversità del SalentoLecceItaly
  3. 3.Centro FermiRomaItaly

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