Detection of the gravitomagnetic field using an orbiting superconducting gravity gradiometer. Theoretical principles
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The angular momentum of the Earth produces gravitomagnetic components of the Riemann curvature tensor, which are of the order of 10-10 of the Newtonian tidal terms arising from the mass of the Earth. These components could be detected in principle by sensitive superconducting gravity gradiometers currently under development. We lay out the theoretical principles of such an experiment by using the parametrized post-Newtonian formalism to derive the locally measured Riemann tensor in an orbiting proper reference frame, in a class of metric theories of gravity that includes general relativity. A gradiometer assembly consisting of three gradiometers with axes at mutually right angles measures three diagonal components of a 3×3 ''tidal tensor,'' related to the Riemann tensor. We find that, by choosing a particular assembly orientation relative to the orbit and taking a sum and difference of two of the three gradiometer outputs, one can isolate the gravitomagnetic relativistic effect from the large Newtonian background.
Phys. Rev. D 39, 2825-2838 (1989)