Could GPS satellites be used to detect gravitational waves?

  • Thread starter haael
  • Start date
  • #1
537
35
To detect gravitational waves, we set up some probe masses in laboratories far from each other and measure distance between them. Why not use GPS satellites for that? I mean: they have precise atomic clocks, they constantly measure their position relative to each other and they are as far away from each other as possible with current technology.

Has it already been done, by any chance? Has anyone tried to use GPS satellites orbit disturbances to detect gravitational waves?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Simon Bridge
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
17,874
1,657
Their positioning system is not nearly accurate enough - the distortions expected are of the order of 10-22 and geosynchonous orbit is something like 70000km across - giving a maximum displacement of the order of femtometers(?)

However:
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/features/topics/gwaves/gwaves.html [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #3
pervect
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
10,147
1,298
For something space-based that could do the job, look up LISA.

http://lisa.nasa.gov/

It's current status seems to be in flux, people are still trying to make it happen, I don't know any of the details.
 

Related Threads on Could GPS satellites be used to detect gravitational waves?

Replies
21
Views
4K
Replies
12
Views
689
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
887
  • Last Post
Replies
29
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
30
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
714
Replies
2
Views
2K
Top