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Earth satellite spacecraft and landers


Elena Pitjeva, Sc.D. in Physics and Mathematics.


  • Creation of high-precision ephemerides of the Sun, the Moon, planets and their natural satellites
  • Ephemeris support of observation programs of
  • Development of software for solving the problems of ephemeris and dynamical astronomy

Subjects of Research

  • Improvement of dynamic models of celestial bodies’ motion and creation of high-precision ephemerides of the Sun, the Moon, and planets (EPM) and their natural satellites (together with the Astronomical Yearbooks Laboratory); improving parameters of those ephemerides and astronomical constants from radio, laser and optical observations of planets, the Moon, natural and artificial satellites of the major planets. Among the parameters under improvement are, in particular: the masses of satellites and asteroids, planetary rotation parameters, the dynamical oblateness of the Sun and planets, parameters of the relativistic PPN formalism, the secular variations of the gravitational constant and the heliocentric gravitational constant (the solar mass), constraints on dark matter in the Solar System, etc.
  • Analysis of impact of planned Russia LLR station on the lunar ephemeris accuracy.
  • Ephemeris support of observable programs of Earth satellites, spacecraft and landers at radio antenns of the QUASAR VLBI netword of IAA RAS. Analysis and processing obtained measurements for improvement of orbits of observable objects.
  • Supporting and developing the software for solving the problems of ephemeris and dynamical astronomy on the basis of the problem-oriented language SLON and the universal program package ERA.

The Laboratory actively collaborates with a number of international organizations: IAU Commissions 4, 7, 8, 15, 16, 19, 20, JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA), IMCCE (Institut de Mecanique Celeste et de Calcul des Ephemerides), the Celestial Mechanics sub-faculty of St.-Petersburg State University and takes part in the project of ISLR (International Satellite Laser Ranging Service).