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Newtonian Doppler and the Pioneer 10 Anomalous Acceleration

Curtis E. Renshaw
Year: 2007
Radiometric data from the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft indicate an apparent, constant skewing between the predicted and observed Doppler shifts. The analysis takes account of ?the effects of planetary perturbations, radiation pressure, the interplanetary media, general relativity, and bias and drift in the range and Doppler.? All such effects change with time, act in the wrong direction or are too negligible in size to account for the observed frequency offsets. This offset has been attributed to a possible acceleration of 8.5 X 10-8 cm/s2 directed toward the sun for both craft. Any potential gravitometric models and systemic problems seem to fail in explaining this discrepancy. Lack of physical explanation for the effect requires a close look at the algorithms used to convert a series of observed signals on the rotating, solar-orbiting Earth to a more inertial frame, such as the solar barycenter. The observed anomalous shift contains an overall, fairly static component, as well as a smaller component with an annual periodic variation. It is difficult to imagine any gravitational anomaly that would be tied to the period of earth\'s orbit around the sun. The values for both of these observed anomalous shifts are tied quite closely to high order values of v/c, where v represents the speed of the earth\'s orbit about the sun and of the receding spacecraft, and c is the speed of light. The anomalous signals seem to indicate an error in the application of relativistic Doppler corrections to the data rather than any new physics as proposed by Anderson, et al.