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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

A high sensitivity heterodyne interferometer as a possible optical readout for the LISA gravitational reference sensor and its application to technology verification
Author(s): Martin Gohlke; Thilo Schuldt; Dennis Weise; Jorge Cordero; Achim Peters; Ulrich Johann; Claus Braxmaier

Paper Abstract

The gravitational wave detector LISA utilizes as current baseline a high sensitivity Optical Readout (ORO) for measuring the relative position and tilt of a free flying proof mass with respect to the satellite housing. The required sensitivities in the frequency band from 30 μHz to 1Hz are ∼ pm/ √ Hz for the translation√ and ~ nrad/√ Hz for the tilt measurement. EADS Astrium, in collaboration with the Humboldt University Berlin and the University of Applied Sciences Konstanz, has realized a prototype ORO over the past years. The interferometer is based on a highly symmetric design where both, measurement and reference beam have a similar optical pathlength, and the same frequency and polarization. The technique of differential wavefront sensing (DWS) for tilt measurement is implemented. With our setup noise levels below 5pm/ √Hz for translation and below 10nrad/ √Hz for tilt measurements – both for frequencies above 10mHz – were demonstrated. We give an overview over the experimental setup, its current performance and the planned improvements. We also discuss the application to first verification of critical LISA aspects. As example we present measurements of the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of various carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) including a "near-zero-CTE" tube.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 2017
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10566, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2008, 1056612 (21 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2308257
Show Author Affiliations
Martin Gohlke, EADS-Astrium GmbH (Germany)
Humboldt-Univ. zu Berlin (Germany)
Thilo Schuldt, EADS-Astrium GmbH (Germany)
Hochschule für Technik (Germany)
Dennis Weise, EADS-Astrium GmbH (Germany)
Jorge Cordero, EADS-Astrium GmbH (Germany)
Hochschule für Technik (Germany)
Achim Peters, Humboldt-Univ. zu Berlin (Germany)
Ulrich Johann, EADS-Astrium GmbH (Germany)
Claus Braxmaier, EADS-Astrium GmbH (Germany)
Hochschule für Technik (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10566:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2008
Josiane Costeraste; Errico Armandillo; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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