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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Elisa technology consolidation study overview
Author(s): E. D. Fitzsimons; N. Brandt; U. Johann; S. Kemble; H.-R. Schulte; D. Weise; T. Ziegler

Paper Abstract

The eLISA (evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) mission is an ESA L3 concept mission intended to detect and characterise gravitational radiation emitted from astrophysical sources [1]. Current designs for eLISA [2] are based on the ESA study conducted in 2011 to reformulate the original ESA/NASA LISA concept [3] into an ESA-only L1 candidate named NGO (New Gravitational Observatory) [4]. During this brief reformulation period, a number of significant changes were made to the baseline LISA design in order to create a more costeffective mission. Some of the key changes implemented during this reformulation were:
• A reduction in the inter satellite distance (the arm length) from 5 Gm to 1 Gm.
• A reduction in the diameter of the telescope from 40 cm to 20 cm.
• A reduction in the required laser power by approximately 40%.
• Implementation of only 2 laser arms instead of 3.
Many further simplifications were then enabled by these main design changes including the elimination of payload items in the two spacecraft (S/C) with no laser-link between them (the daughter S/C), a reduction in the size and complexity of the optical bench and the elimination of the Point Ahead Angle Mechanism (PAAM), which corrects for variations in the pointing direction to the far S/C caused by orbital dynamics [4] [5].

In the run-up to an L3 mission definition phase later in the decade, it is desirable to review these design choices and analyse the inter-dependencies and scaling between the key mission parameters with the goal of better understanding the parameter space and ensuring that in the final selection of the eLISA mission parameters the optimal balance between cost, complexity and science return can be achieved.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10563, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014, 105632K (17 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2304251
Show Author Affiliations
E. D. Fitzsimons, Airbus DS GmbH (Germany)
N. Brandt, Airbus DS GmbH (Germany)
U. Johann, Airbus DS GmbH (Germany)
S. Kemble, Airbus DS Ltd. (United Kingdom)
H.-R. Schulte, Airbus DS GmbH (Germany)
D. Weise, Airbus DS GmbH (Germany)
T. Ziegler, Airbus DS GmbH (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10563:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014
Zoran Sodnik; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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