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Proceedings Paper

Fundamental performance determining factors of the ultrahigh-precision space-borne optical metrology system for the LISA Pathfinder mission
Author(s): Gerald Hechenblaikner; Reinhold Flatscher
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Paper Abstract

The LISA Pathfinder mission to space employs an optical metrology system (OMS) at its core to measure the distance and attitude between two freely floating test-masses to picometer and nanorad accuracy, respectively, within the measurement band of [1 mHz, 30 mHz]. The OMS is based upon an ultra-stable optical bench with 4 heterodyne interferometers from which interference signals are read-out and processed by a digital phase-meter. Laser frequency noise, power fluctuations and optical path-length variations are suppressed to uncritical levels by dedicated control loops so that the measurement performance approaches the sensor limit imposed by the phasemeter. The system design is such that low frequency common mode noise which affects the read-out phase of all four interferometers is generally well suppressed by subtraction of a reference phase from the other interferometer signals. However, high frequency noise directly affects measurement performance and its common mode rejection depends strongly on the relative signal phases. We discuss how the data from recent test campaigns point towards high frequency phase noise as a likely performance limiting factor which explains some important performance features.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2013
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8789, Modeling Aspects in Optical Metrology IV, 87890X (13 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2020498
Show Author Affiliations
Gerald Hechenblaikner, EADS Astrium (Germany)
Reinhold Flatscher, EADS Astrium (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8789:
Modeling Aspects in Optical Metrology IV
Bernd Bodermann; Karsten Frenner; Richard M. Silver, Editor(s)

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