General post-Minkowskian expansion and application of the phase function
AbstractThe phase function is a useful tool to study all observations of space missions, since it can give all the information about light propagation in a gravitational field. For the extreme accuracy of the modern space missions, a precise relativistic modeling of observations is required. So, we develop a recursive procedure enabling us to expand the phase function into a perturbative series of ascending powers of the Newtonian gravitational constant. Any nth-order perturbation of the phase function can be determined by the integral along the straight line connecting two point events. To illustrate the result, we carry out the calculation of the phase function outside a static, spherically symmetric body up to the order of G2. Then, we develop a precise relativistic model that is able to calculate the phase function and the derivatives of the phase function in the gravitational field of rotating and uniformly moving bodies. This model allows the computing of the Doppler, radio science, and astrometric observables of the space missions in the Solar System. With the development of space technology, the relativistic corrections due to the motion of a planet’s spin must be considered in the high-precision space missions in the near future. As an example, we give the estimates of the relativistic corrections on the observables about the space missions TianQin and BEACON.