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Session 42 - Solar Systems.
Display session, Tuesday, January 16
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[42.07] Search for Kuiper-Belt Flybys Using Pioneer 10 Radio Doppler Data

J. D. Anderson, G. Giampieri, E. L. Lau (JPL), R. T. Hammond (NDSU)

Using coherent radio Doppler data generated by the Deep Space Network (DSN) at S band (wavelength \sim 13 cm), we have produced five-day averages of radial accelerations acting on the Pioneer 10 spacecraft between 40 and 60 AU. The one-sigma accuracy of the reduced accelerations is 2.5 \times 10^-10 m s^-2. Here we develop the theory of weak gravitational interactions of a spacecraft with orbiting bodies, and show that it is feasible to determine the mass and location of an unknown object from the acceleration data, subject to reasonable assumptions. We search the data record for candidate flybys, and apply the theory to one of the best candidates at distance 56 AU, ecliptic longitude 73.9 Deg and latitude 3.1 Deg.

Program listing for Tuesday