On the unreliability of the so far performed tests for measuring the Lense-Thirring ef- fect with the LAGEOS satellites

Abstract

In this paper we will show in detail that the performed attempts aimed at the detection of the general relativistic Lense-Thirring effect in the gravitational field of the Earth with the existing LAGEOS satellites are always presented in an unrealistically optimistic and misleading way which is inadequate for such an important test of fundamental physics. E.g., in the latest reported measurement of the gravitomagnetic shift with the nodes of the LAGEOS satellites and the 2nd generation GRACE-only EIGEN-GRACE02S Earth gravity model over an observational time span of 11 years a 5-10% total accuracy is claimed at 1-3σ, respectively. We will show that, instead, it might be 15-45% (1-3σ) or 26-78% (1-3σ) depending on how the impact of the secular variations of the even zonal harmonics is evaluated.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Iorio2004OnTU, title={On the unreliability of the so far performed tests for measuring the Lense-Thirring ef- fect with the LAGEOS satellites}, author={Lorenzo Iorio}, year={2004} }