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《Acta Astronomica Sinica》 2009-02
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A Study of the Scientific Value of the Asteroid Icarus Laser Ranging

LUO Yong-jie~(1,2) XIA Yan~(1,2) LI Guang-yu~1 (1 Purple Mountain Observatory,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Nanjing 210008) (2 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049)  
The asteroid Icarus laser ranging mission includes to place a set of laser reflector, timer onto Icarus and to range between the Icarus and the Earth ground stations, which will precisely measure PPN parametersγandβ,the solar quadruple moment J_2, the temporal variation of the gravitational constant■/G,and the barycentric constants of the solar-system bodies.With the advances in laser technology,a timing accuracy of 10 picoseconds(3mm in terms of ranging) can be realized.The Icarus will approach to Earth in the year 2015,which provides a good launch window for an Icarus lander.There is a simulation of the laser ranging between the ground station and the Icarus for a period of 800 days starting from September 25,2015 by using PMOE 2003 planetary ephemeris framework,and obtained the uncertainties of 18 parameters after making a fit of them with Kalman filter method.From this simulation,the uncertainties forγ,β,J_2 and■/G are determined to be 7.8×10~(-8),9.0×10~(-7),9.8×10~(-11) and 7.0×10~(-15)yr~(-1) respectively,which are 1—3 orders of magnitude more accurate than the results from the empirical experiments to date.The result of this simulation also makes much sense for the test of relativity,the measurement of the solar-system fundamental parameters,and the test of fundamental laws of space and time.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金(10503013)资助项目
【CateGory Index】: P124
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