Geodetic Contributions to Gravitational Experiments in Space

  • E.C. Pavlis


Geodesy has been traditionally a science that facilitated the testing of some of the most important laws of physics and their corollaries. In the past, these experiments were natural consequence of problems that geodesy had to solve in order to progress and refine its methods. In recent years, with a lot of the “geodetic problems” under control, geodesists have taken a closer look at problems that we can address keeping in mind that our current primary goal is to facilitate interdisciplinary research on global change and related topics (Fig. 1). One of the areas that geodesy can contribute the most, is the precise determination of the terrestrial gravity field and its temporal variations. This provides the precise, stable and free-of-gravitational-noise environment where very delicate experiments in gravitational physics can be conducted.
Fig. 1.

Geophysical processes interactions sensed by near-Earth-orbiting spacecraft


Global Position System Satellite Laser Range International Terrestrial Reference Frame Satellite Laser Range Data Weighted Root Mean Square 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • E.C. Pavlis
    • 1
  1. 1.Joint Center for Earth Systems TechnologyUniversity of Maryland Baltimore County, NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbelt, MDUSA

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