Articles | Volume 26, issue 4
13 May 2008
 | 13 May 2008

Testing the local spacetime dynamics by heliospheric radiocommunication methods

H.-J. Fahr and M. Siewert

Abstract. According to general relativistic theories, cosmological spacetime is dynamic. This prediction is in excellent agreement with the huge majority of astronomical observations on large cosmic scales, especially the observations of cosmological redshifts of distant galaxies. However, on scales of heliospheric distances, verifications of general relativistic effects are based on Schwarzschild metric tests or kinetical corrections, such as the perihelion motion of Mercury, photon deflection at the Sun and gravitational photon redshifts in central gravity fields. As we will show in this paper, there is, however, a chance to detect new cosmologically relevant features on heliospheric scales by careful study of photon propagations in the local spacetime metrics, based on red- or blueshifts as a clear, but up to now overlooked, signature of the local spacetime dynamics. Thus, we propose the challenging possibility of carrying out experiments of cosmological relevance by simply using high-precision radio tracking of heliospheric spaceprobes, as already practised in cases like Pioneer-10/11, Galileo and Ulysses.