Impact of Earth radiation pressure on LAGEOS orbits and on the global scale

Sosnica, Krzysztof Jakub; Rodríguez Solano, Carlos Javier; Thaller, Daniela; Jäggi, Adrian; Dach, Rolf; Beutler, Gerhard (11 November 2013). Impact of Earth radiation pressure on LAGEOS orbits and on the global scale. In: 18th International Workshop on Laser Ranging. Fujiyoshida, Japan. 11.-15.11.2013.

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The indirect solar radiation pressure caused by reflected or re-emitted radiation by the Earth’s surface is an important non-gravitational force perturbing the orbits of geodetic satellites (Rubincam and Weiss, 1986; Martin and Rubincam, 1996). In the case of LAGEOS this
acceleration is of the order of 15% of the direct solar radiation pressure. Therefore, Earth radiation pressure has a non-negligible impact not only on LAGEOS orbits, but also on the SLR-derived terrestrial reference frame. We investigate the impact of the Earth radiation pressure on LAGEOS orbits and on the SLR-derived parameters. Earth radiation pressure has a remarkable impact on the semi-major axes of the LAGEOS satellites, causing a systematic reduction of 1.5 mm. The infrared Earth radiation causes a reduction of about 1.0 mm and the Earth’s reflectivity of 0.5 mm of the LAGEOS’ semi-major axes. The global scale defined by the SLR network is changed by 0.07 ppb, when applying Earth radiation pressure. The resulting station heights differ by 0.5-0.6 mm in the solution with and without Earth radiation pressure. However, when range biases are estimated, the height differences are absorbed by the range biases, and thus, the station heights are not shifted.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Sosnica, Krzysztof Jakub, Thaller, Daniela, Jäggi, Adrian, Dach, Rolf, Beutler, Gerhard


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Pierre Fridez

Date Deposited:

14 Jul 2014 11:12

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:35




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