Relativity in navigation systems, geodesy and astronomy

The consequences and predictions of the theory of relativity are both far-reaching and non-intuitive; for example clock rates are measured differently by observers in relative motion and in varying gravitational fields. Furthermore, it predicts the universe is heavily populated with strange and exotic objects known as black holes and that light from objects will bend in the presence of massive bodies.

The incorporation of General Relativity (GR) is paramount in fields such as geodesy and astronomy where highly precise measurements are required. Current accuracy levels in geodesy and astronomy require that reference frames, planetary and satellite orbits and signal propagation be treated within the regime of GR.

In this talk, we present an overview of the history of GR and areas of interest being investigated as part of a PhD project. Finally, we address why the incorporation of GR is critical in present and future geodetic and astronomical techniques.