Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Relativistic time transfer for a Mars lander: from Areocentric Coordinate Time to Barycentric Coordinate Time

Wen-Zheng Yang, De-Wang Xu, Qing-Shan Yu, Jie Liu, Yi Xie


As the second step of relativistic time transfer for a Mars lander, we investigate the transformation between Areocentric Coordinate Time (TCA) and Barycentric Coordinate Time (TCB) in the framework of IAU Resolutions. TCA is a local time scale for Mars, which is analogous to the Geocentric Coordinate Time (TCG) for Earth. This transformation has two parts: contributions associated with gravitational bodies and those depending on the position of the lander. After setting the instability of an onboard clock to 10−13 and considering that the uncertainty in time is about 3.2 microseconds after one Earth year, we find that the contributions of the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in the leading term associated with these bodies can reach a level exceeding the threshold and must be taken into account. Other terms can be safely ignored in this transformation for a Mars lander.


reference systems – time – space vehicles

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 1674-4527

Online ISSN: 2397-6209