Review of Gravity Probe B



Task Group on Gravity Probe B
Space Studies Board
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics,
and Applications
National Research Council


Notice

Membership

Preface

  1. Summary
    Background
    Scientific Motivation
    Conclusions
    Scientific Importance
    Technical Feasibility
    Comparison with Other Proposed Programs

  2. Scientific Motivation for GP-B
    Significance of Frame Dragging
    Geometrical Viewpoint
    Gravitomagnetic Viewpoint
    Significance of Geodetic Precession
    Geometrical Viewpoint
    Gravitomagnetic Viewpoint
    GP-B and Other Tests of General Relativity
    Experimental Gravity and General Relativity
    Alternative Metric Theories of Gravity
    Wider Classes of Gravitational Theory
    Other Tests of Frame Dragging or Geodetic Precession

  3. Essentials of the GP-B Experiment
    Cryogenic Instrumentation
    London Moment
    Spin Readout
    Stray Magnetic Fields and Trapped Flux
    Reliability
    The Generated Signal

  4. Systems Engineering Assessment
    Space Vehicle
    Spacecraft Structure
    Electrical Power
    Communications
    Attitude and Translational Control
    Integrated Payload
    Risk Analysis
    Overall Credibility
    Hardware Failure
    Probability of Achieving the Desired Accuracy
    Sensitivity of Experimental Errors to Key System Parameters

  5. Concluding Observations
    Systems Engineering
    Helium Thrusters
    Safety Margins
    Technology Transfer



NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS, 1995




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