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You are here: Home Research Activities Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation Experimental radio, microwaves and gravitation Experimental gravitation and "Radio Science"

Experimental gravitation and "Radio Science"

Italy has a strong tradition in the use of interplanetary probes for experiments in the field of gravitation. Taken together, these experiments allow the determination of the gravitational field of the planets and minor bodies of the solar system, their structure and rotational motion, as well as to carry out tests of theories of gravitation: information essential for the study of the origin of the solar system itself.

From the instrumental and know-how point of view, in such "Radio Science" experiments, use is made of high sensitivity accelerometers (the ISA - Italian Spring Accelerometer - is one of the payloads of the Bepi Colombo mission), tracking systems and programmes for accurate orbital determination.