Clock synchronization is the backbone of applications such as high-accuracy satellite navigation, geolocation, space-based interferometry, and cryptographic communication systems. The high accuracy of synchronization needed over satellite-to-ground and satellite-to-satellite distances requires the use of general relativistic concepts. The role of geometrical optics and antenna phase center approximations are discussed in high accuracy work. The clock synchronization problem is explored from a general relativistic point of view, with emphasis on the local measurement process and the use of the tetrad formalism as the correct model of relativistic measurements. The treatment makes use of J. L. Synge's world function of space-time as a basic coordinate independent geometric concept. A metric is used for space-time in the vicinity of the Earth, where coordinate time is proper time on the geoid. The problem of satellite clock syntonization is analyzed by numerically integrating the geodesic equations of motion for low-Earth orbit (LEO), geosynchronous orbit (GEO), and highly elliptical orbit (HEO) satellites. Proper time minus coordinate time is computed for satellites in these orbital regimes. The frequency shift as a function of time is computed for a signal observed on the Earth's geoid from a LEO, GEO, and HEO satellite. Finally, the problem of geolocation in curved space-time is briefly explored using the world function formalism.

Comment: 49 pages, 19 figures. To be published in 'Progress in General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology Research', Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Hauppauge, New York, December 2004. Paper was replaced due to font problems in the figures"

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