A paper proposes a method of mutual coherent laser tracking of two spacecraft for detecting gravitational radiation. Each spacecraft would transmit a laser beam to, and receive a similar laser beam from, the other spacecraft. Each spacecraft would also coherently transpond a laser beam back to the other spacecraft. Comparison of the phases of the various transmitted and received signals would yield four sets of tracking data - two sets of one-way and two sets of two-way Doppler shifts that could be partly attributable to gravitational waves. The data would be time-tagged and telemetered back to Earth for analysis.

This work was done by Massimo Tinto of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NPO-20501


This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Two-spacecraft laser tracking for detecting gravitational waves

(reference NPO20501) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

Don't have an account? Sign up here.



NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 1999 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

Read more articles from the archives here.