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Proceedings Paper

Electrostatic modeling for LISA
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Paper Abstract

LISA employs a capacitive sensing and positioning system to maintain the drag free environment of the test masses acting as interferometer mirror elements. The need for detailed electrostatic modelling of the test mass environment arises because any electric field gradient or variation associated with test mass motion can couple the test mass to its housing, and ultimately the spacecraft. Cross-couplings between components in the system can introduce direct couplings between sensing signals, sensing axes and the drive signal. A variation in cross-couplings or asymmetry in the system can introduce capacitance gradients and second derivatives, giving rise to unwanted forces and spring constant modifications. These effects will vary dependent on the precise geometry of the system and will also tend to increase the sensitivity to accumulated charge on the test-mass. Presented are the results of a systematic study of the effect of the principal geometry elements (e.g. machining imperfections, the caging mechanism) on the test mass electrostatic environment, using the finite element code ANSYS. This work is part of an ongoing ESA study into drag-free control for LISA and the LTP on SMART 2 and ultimately aims to eliminate geometries that introduce too large a disturbance and optimise the electrostatic design.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4856, Gravitational-Wave Detection, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.456762
Show Author Affiliations
Diana N.A. Shaul, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United States)
Timothy J. Sumner, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4856:
Gravitational-Wave Detection
Peter Saulson; Adrian M. Cruise, Editor(s)

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