GPS satellite Clock Error Explanation

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jayoakam
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GPS satellite Clock Error Explanation

Hello,

I am new to these forums. Does the EU have an explanation of the GPS satelite clock Error? GPS satelites clocks are adjusted before launch to allow for the relativistic effects of gravity. I did not read in Dr. Scott's rebuttal of TB any explanation of this adjustment which TB raised. I did a search of the forums on "GPS+error" and found no references. The gravity and time error have been shown by experiment (aircraft and satelite) to show relativistic effects. What is the EU theory concerning this?

John Yoakam
(EE + Plasma Science + EU) Advocate
Last edited by nick c on Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: spelling correction to thread title - "satellite"

nick c
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Location: connecticut

Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

Hey jayoakam,
I am not a physicist and will leave responses to this issue to those more qualified, however, I did find this interesting article:
GPS and Relativity
Now the quoted relativistic correction of 38 microseconds/day corresponds to ε=4.4.10^-10. As the satellites are at a distance of around 20000 km (=2.10^9 cm), the positional error due to relativity should actually only be 4.4.10^-10 . 2.10^9 cm = 0.8 cm! This is even much less than the presently claimed accuracy of the GPS of a few meters, so the Relativity effect should actually not be relevant at all!
nick c
Last edited by nick c on Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jayoakam
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Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

Thanks for the post.

I understand the corrections are small - what I want to understand is how the EU theory explains the need for a time correction as opposed to relativity's explanation. Specifically, Dr. Scott did not address the TB statement that the GPS time corrections are confirmation of relativity. I have read Dr. Scott's book "The Electric Sky" (I am a big fan of Dr. Scott) but I can't find a EU explanation of the relativistic effects that have been measured.

Is there a way to ask Dr. Scott for his analysis?

John Yoakam

StevenO
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Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

nick c wrote:
Now the quoted relativistic correction of 38 microseconds/day corresponds to ε=4.4.10^-10. As the satellites are at a distance of around 20000 km (=2.10^9 cm), the positional error due to relativity should actually only be 4.4.10^-10 . 2.10^9 cm = 0.8 cm! This is even much less than the presently claimed accuracy of the GPS of a few meters, so the Relativity effect should actually not be relevant at all!
nick c
Hi Nick,

Your assumption is not correct. Since the propagation time of the signals is measured, the 38 μs/day should be multiplied with the speed of light to calculate the error:
Taken over a full day, the net compensation needed has a magnitude of 45(GR) – 7(SR) = 38 μs. This
corresponds, by multiplying with c, with a distance of about 11.4 km a day. So, if left uncompensated
for, within 1 minute the deviation would already be substantial: almost 10 m.
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nick c
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Location: connecticut

Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

StevenO wrote:Hi Nick,
Your assumption is not correct. Since the propagation time of the signals is measured, the 38 μs/day should be multiplied with the speed of light to calculate the error:
Hi StevenO,
Well it is not my assumption. I was merely connecting to a website:
http://www.physicsmyths.org.uk/gps.htm
which I found interesting and related to the original post. I relayed your post to the author, Dr. Thomas Smid, and asked him to clarify the material on his website, this was his response in its' entirety:
Dear Nicholas,

Apparently StevenO has missed the point I made on my page:

The 38 microseconds/day is the drift between a satellite clock and a
ground clock. However, in practice ground clocks are not being used at
all to determine the position. It is determined by measuring the
difference of time signals from different satellites (if you have an
n-dimensional problem, one needs the time signals from n+1 satellites;
in my example n=1, so 2 satellites are sufficient there; in 3D-reality
(n=3) you need 4 satellites (see
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?tit ... id=8970438
(Technical Description)).

Everything that is required for the position determination (like the
satellite positions) is encoded in the satellite signal, and all that
the receiver does is to calculate the position from these data. So since
a receiver clock is in principle not required at all, it is therefore
irrelevant in practice for GPS, whether the ground clock accumulates an
error relatively to the satellite clocks or not.

So just to avoid any misunderstanding: I am not saying that my example
shows that a ground clock does not accumulate an error with regard to
the satellite clocks (whether or not this is the case is a different
matter I am not addressing here). I am only saying that the way the GPS
works in everyday practice, an accumulation of the alleged magnitude
(whether caused by Relativity or whatever) would be irrelevant for a
position determination. So the argument often used by Relativists that
civilization would effectively break down if Relativity is not taken
into account for GPS positioning is very much incorrect and flawed.

Best regards,
Thomas

P.S: You are welcome to post my reply in the forum if you like
Very informative, the GPS/relativity issue is interesting and more complicated than sometimes portrayed. It seems that Dr Smid, stands by his calculation (in the above linked website) of a positional error of 0.8 centimeters which is well within the accuracy limits for GPS, thus claims of verification of relativity by GPS would seem to be premature.

jayoakam:
I am searching for some EU references to the GPS/relativity issue. I'll take your word that it is not mentioned in Scott's The Electric Sky but can't check right now, as I have loaned out my copy to a friend.
I have not found any references so far, though I do remember reading something (possibly by Thornhill?) on the subject.
More later,

nick c

StevenO
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Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

That is very interesting Nick. That'll teach the relativists to be a little more modest next time we're having a discussion about that.
First, God decided he was lonely. Then it got out of hand. Now we have this mess called life...
The past is out of date. Start living your future. Align with your dreams. Now execute.

Solar
Posts: 1372
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:05 am

Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

Item 1: From D. E. Scott Rebuts T. Bridgman
THE (NON)USEFUL PRODUCTS OF ASTROPHYSICS Also on his page 4, TB claims that the Global Positioning System requires general relativity for precise computation of transmission delay times of the GPS signals in the gravitational field of Earth. This, he claims, is a useful contribution of astrophysics. However, as with so many of the pronouncements of the astrophysics power structure, there is an alternative explanation. H.F. Fliegel and R. S. DiEsposti of the GPS Joint Program Office of the Aerospace Corporation conclude1 ―Except for the leading γ [gamma] factor [in their final equation], it is the same formula derived in classical physics for the signal travel time from the GPS satellite to the ground station. As we have shown, introducing the γ factor makes a change of only 2 or 3 millimeters to the classical result. In short there are no ‗missing relativity terms.‘ They cancel out.” General Relativity Theory is not needed.
The paper cited above by H.F. Fliegel and R. S. DiEsposti is here:
GPS and Relativity: An Engineering Overview

Item 2: From Tom Bethell at Meta Research
The simplest way to understand all this "without going crazy," Van Flandern says, is to discard Einsteinian relativity and to assume that "there is a light-carrying medium." When a clock moves through this medium "it takes longer for each electron in the atomic clock to complete its orbit." Therefore it makes fewer "ticks" in a given time than a stationary clock. Moving clocks slow down, in short, because they are "ploughing through this medium and working more slowly." It's not time that slows down. It's the clocks.
(…)
At high altitude, where the GPS clocks orbit the Earth, it is known that the clocks run roughly 46,000 nanoseconds (one-billionth of a second) a day faster than at ground level, because the gravitational field is thinner 20,000 kilometers above the Earth. The orbiting clocks also pass through that field at a rate of three kilometers per second--their orbital speed. For that reason, they tick 7,000 nanoseconds a day slower than stationary clocks.

To offset these two effects, the GPS engineers reset the clock rates, slowing them down before launch by 39,000 nanoseconds a day. They then proceed to tick in orbit at the same rate as ground clocks, and the system "works." Ground observers can indeed pin-point their position to a high degree of precision. In (Einstein) theory, however, it was expected that because the orbiting clocks all move rapidly and with varying speeds relative to any ground observer (who may be anywhere on the Earth's surface), and since in Einstein's theory the relevant speed is always speed relative to the observer, it was expected that continuously varying relativistic corrections would have to be made to clock rates. This in turn would have introduced an unworkable complexity into the GPS. But these corrections were not made. Yet "the system manages to work, even though they use no relativistic corrections after launch," Van Flandern said. "They have basically blown off Einstein." – Rethinking Relativity by Tom Bethell
"Our laws of force tend to be applied in the Newtonian sense in that for every action there is an equal reaction, and yet, in the real world, where many-body gravitational effects or electrodynamic actions prevail, we do not have every action paired with an equal reaction." — Harold Aspden

saturnine
Guest

Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

Solar wrote:
It's not time that slows down. It's the clocks.
People really don't understand this? Rhetorical question folks.

jayoakam
Guest

Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

Solar - thank you for the useful information - I have a better handle on it now and I am glad my GPS doesn't need any special relativity.

Aardwolf
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Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

flyrcdream wrote:Scott's book "The Electric Sky" (I am a big fan of Dr. Scott) but I can't find a EU explanation of the relativistic effects that have been measured.

Probably because the relativistic effects are not measured; they are theorised or assumed to be present.
Last edited by nick c on Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: commercial links removed from quote

aetherwizard
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Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

I do not have access to the paper, but I read once that the ionospheric correction factor is far greater than the relativistic calculation. Although it is true that the satellites keep their own clocks separate from the ground, it is also true that the satellites are constantly recalibrated according to special targets on the ground and with star positions. They only need a clock that is accurate for one pass around the Earth and then everything can be reset, if necessary.

What is really happening is the satellite tracks known terrestrial and stellar positions and its movement relative to those positions. What the scientists found out, though, is that the signal from the satellite to the ground, which is a form of light, is affected by the ever changing height of the ionosphere. The ionosphere bobs up and down just like ocean waves and for pretty much the same reasons. The Total Electron Count (TEC) is actually the ionospheric fudge factor left over after the GPS measurement.

The relativistic calculation appears to be more about pageantry. There is no accurate basis to say that GPS systems require relativistic adjustments. Even if the relativistic correction were true, it could not be proved while the distorted ionosphere is randomly bobbing up and down at its current magnitude. They would need to put their GPS system on the Moon or some other body without an atmospheric distortion before they could claim the relativistic correction is necessary.

Below is an article that covers some of the bases of what I have just said. Although, I disagree with their concept of photons separating electrons from atoms and molecules. Only a moron could think that separating an electron from atoms and molecules would produce a negatively charged atmosphere. Anybody with common sense would realize that the moment the electron was separated there would be an equal amount of negative and positive ions in the atmosphere. Instead, the incoming solar ultraviolet light is producing electrons via the photoelectric effect. Thus there is a net negative charge gain on the Sun side of the Earth. When the light is no longer there (night side of the Earth), the extra electrons are pushed into space through electrostatic repulsion, which combine with positively charged hydrogen atoms being blown away from the Sun. When the Sun's output decreases, the positively charge hydrogen isn't there and the Earth's electrostatic charge builds up (as does all the other planets and moons).

http://gauss.gge.unb.ca/gpsworld/EarlyI ... 991.04.pdf

klokskap
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Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

An in depth treatment of relativity with regard to clocks was published in 2006 by Thomas Phipps, Old Physics for New. I can't vouch for his analysis as I had a hard time keeping up with his math. However, he does try to stay away from mathematics as a way of analyzing and proving his ideas. What I got out of it was first, it is not possible to independently observe the behavior of two "identical" clocks, the act of observing impacts the behavior of the clocks (similar to the problem with Langmuir probes). Second, what the GPS conversion factor indicated was that any time keeping device's oscillation rate was affected by its speed within, as well as distance away from, the center of a gravitational field. All clocks are representations of our abstract concept of the passage of time (or the "flow of existence"), and how does one go about establishing a reference point independent of that?

I believe Wal handled this problem somewhere in his commentaries. Since the entire problem is dependent on our correctly conceptualizing the structure and behavior of matter the difficulties in explaining what is really happening with GPS and the presumed relativity effect remain.

Aardwolf
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Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

aetherwizard wrote:I do not have access to the paper, but I read once that the ionospheric correction factor is far greater than the relativistic calculation.
True. But not because the relativistic calculation is a lower figure/adjustment, it's because there is no live, on-the-fly, relativistic correction ever made. The only "supposed" relativistic adjustment is the initial clock frequency adjustment which (considering the clocks are continually corrected because, surprise, suprise, highly sensitive atomic clocks are prone to error when you launch them into space) is entirely pointless.

As for the ionospheric adjustment itself, it only creates a marginal increase in acccuracy and is unnecessary. If you're already 5 metres out, what do you gain by reducing the error to 4.8 metres, hence no cheap commercial receivers/chips bother with it.

aetherwizard
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Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

Aardwolf wrote:The only "supposed" relativistic adjustment is the initial clock frequency adjustment which (considering the clocks are continually corrected because, surprise, suprise, highly sensitive atomic clocks are prone to error when you launch them into space) is entirely pointless.
The relativity fans are trying to tell us the signal itself experiences relativistic effects. According to the mainstream, as the photons travel down the gravitational well of the Earth, they slow down. Therefore, there is a relativistic adjustment made that amounts to a movement of one meter on the Earth.
Aardwolf wrote:As for the ionospheric adjustment itself, it only creates a marginal increase in acccuracy and is unnecessary. If you're already 5 metres out, what do you gain by reducing the error to 4.8 metres, hence no cheap commercial receivers/chips bother with it.
Actually, the range of error varies from one meter to one hundred meters due to ionospheric influence.

This is the scientific reason why the relativistic correction cannot be seen as a proof for Relativity theory. The relativistic correction is buried in the ionospheric noise. It is too easy to make assumptions as to how much ionospheric noise there is in order to make the relativistic adjustment appear legitimate.

If there is going to be a true test for the relativistic adjustment, it has to take place on the Moon or some other body that does not interfere with the signals.

However, the real reset marker for the GPS system is its position relative to predetermined targets on Earth and in space. In other words, the real reference clock is not the atomic clocks used in the system, but the satellites themselves as they orbit the Earth.

Aardwolf
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Re: GPS satelite Clock Error Explanation

aetherwizard wrote:
Aardwolf wrote:The only "supposed" relativistic adjustment is the initial clock frequency adjustment which (considering the clocks are continually corrected because, surprise, suprise, highly sensitive atomic clocks are prone to error when you launch them into space) is entirely pointless.
The relativity fans are trying to tell us the signal itself experiences relativistic effects. According to the mainstream, as the photons travel down the gravitational well of the Earth, they slow down. Therefore, there is a relativistic adjustment made that amounts to a movement of one meter on the Earth.
I'm struggling to follow what you are saying. Receivers do not make any corrections to the signals received. The metadata and modelling required would be over the top compared to the gain in accuracy received. Receivers just make multilateral calculations based on the 6 or 7 signals received. The only relativity adjustment ever considered in the GPS system was the one-off frequency clock changes of the atomic clocks, pre-launch, which I had already pointed out are pointless.
aetherwizard wrote:
Aardwolf wrote:As for the ionospheric adjustment itself, it only creates a marginal increase in acccuracy and is unnecessary. If you're already 5 metres out, what do you gain by reducing the error to 4.8 metres, hence no cheap commercial receivers/chips bother with it.
Actually, the range of error varies from one meter to one hundred meters due to ionospheric influence.

This is the scientific reason why the relativistic correction cannot be seen as a proof for Relativity theory. The relativistic correction is buried in the ionospheric noise. It is too easy to make assumptions as to how much ionospheric noise there is in order to make the relativistic adjustment appear legitimate.

If there is going to be a true test for the relativistic adjustment, it has to take place on the Moon or some other body that does not interfere with the signals.

However, the real reset marker for the GPS system is its position relative to predetermined targets on Earth and in space. In other words, the real reference clock is not the atomic clocks used in the system, but the satellites themselves as they orbit the Earth.
There are many errors associated with the signals including the ionospheric errors which I agree can be large. But the standard modelling cannot account for short term significant errors, caused by say sunspots. I don't think anyone tries to pretend that these errors are anything to do with relativity though.