Vol 15, No 10

Spacecraft Doppler tracking with possible violations of LLI and LPI: upper bounds from one-way measurements on MEX

Yi Xie, Yong Huang


Abstract We analyze the post-fit residuals of one-way Doppler tracking data from the Mars Express (MEX) spacecraft to test possible violations of local Lorentz invariance (LLI) and local position invariance (LPI). These one-way Doppler observations were carried out on 2011 August 7 for about 20 minutes at Sheshan Station of Shanghai Astronomical Observatory in China. These downlink signals were sent by MEX for telemetry at X-band. Because we are not able to decode the data in the form of telemetry and separate them from the carrier frequency, this makes the post-fit residuals of the Doppler data degrade to the level of 0.1 m s−1. Even so, the residuals can still impose upper bounds on LLI and LPI at 10−1, which is consistent with the prediction based on our analysis of the detectability. Although the upper bounds given by three-way Doppler tracking of MEX are better than those obtained in the present work, one-way Doppler measurements still provide a unique chance to test possible violations of LLI and LPI far from the ground stations.


Keywords space vehicles — techniques: radial velocities — gravitation

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