New Perspectives in Testing the General Relativistic Lense-Thirring Effect
Testing the effects predicted by the General Theory of Relativity, in its linearized weak field and slow motion approximation, in the Solar System is difficult because they are very small. Among them the post-Newtonian gravitomagnetic Lense-Thirring effect, or dragging of the inertial frames, on the orbital motion of a test particle is very interesting and, up to now, there is not yet an undisputable experimental direct test of it. Here we illustrate how it could be possible to measure it with an accuracy of the order of 1%, together with other tests of Special Relativity and post-Newtonian gravity, with a joint space based OPTIS/LARES mission in the gravitational field of Earth. Up to now, the data analysis of the orbits of the existing geodetic LAGEOS and LAGEOS II satellites has yielded a test of the Lense-Thirring effect with a claimed accuracy of 20%-30%.
KeywordsTest Particle Semi Major Axis Orbital Configuration Zonal Harmonic Zonal Harmonic Coefficient
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