SPECIAL RELATIVITY AND INTERSATELLITE TRACKING

Paul S. Jorgensen

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Toward the end of 1987, a question was raised regarding the treatment of special relativity for the caSe of intersatellite tracking of future replenishment GPS satellites. The question has to do with the manner in which moving clocks appear to slow down because of relativity. The effect appears to be quite different depending on how we define the observer. In one case, we consider the observer to be in the frame of the receiving satellite, with the clock on the transmitting satellite. In the other case, the observer is in earth-centered inertial coordinates. The answer to the question regarding coordinate frames was found by considering classical Doppler together with special relativity. This paper shows that, since the dynamics of GPS is formulated in earth-centered coordinates, it is necessary that special relativity also be formulated in this coordinate frame.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 35, Number 4
Pages: 429 - 442
Cite this article: Jorgensen, Paul S., "SPECIAL RELATIVITY AND INTERSATELLITE TRACKING", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 35, No. 4, Winter 1988-1989, pp. 429-442.
Full Paper: ION Members/Non-Members: 1 Download Credit
Sign In