Relativity and Cosmology


A Proposed Experiment to Test Theories of the Flyby Anomaly

Authors: C. K. Raju

We use Lorentz covariant retarded gravitation theory (RGT), without simplifications, to validate the earlier calculations for the flyby anomaly as a gravitational effect of Earth's rotation at the special relativistic (v/c) level. Small differences persist between the theoretical predictions of RGT and the data reported by Anderson et al. That reported data, however, is not direct observational data but consists of un-modeled residues. To settle doubts, we propose a 3-way experimental test to discriminate between RGT, Newtonian gravitation (no flyby anomaly), and Anderson et al.'s formula. This involves two satellites orbiting Earth in opposite directions in the equatorial plane in eccentric orbits. For these orbits, Earth's rotation should not affect velocity on (1) Newtonian gravitation and (2) the formula of Anderson et al. However, (3) on RGT, one satellite gains and the other loses velocity, by typically a few cm/s/day, which is easily measurable by satellite laser ranging.

Comments: 12 pages, 3 tables, 6 graphs

Download: PDF

Submission history

[v1] 2017-06-25 05:30:44

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