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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

LISA: observing gravitational waves from space (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Martin Gehler

Paper Abstract

The LISA mission concept has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as its third large-class mission within the Cosmic Vision programme. LISA, which stands for “Laser Interferometer Space Antenna”, is a space-based gravitational wave observatory, consisting of three spacecraft in a triangular formation providing access to the milli-Hertz frequency band of the gravitational wave spectrum. The distance between the freely floating test masses housed within the spacecraft is monitored over arm-lengths of 2.5 million km at the picometer level by laser interferometry. First ideas for such a mission emerged long before the turn of the century and the concept has evolved over several decades culminating in the proposal of LISA in its current form in 2016. LISA is currently developed with contributions from the ESA member states and NASA as an international partner with an envisaged launch date before 2034. In this talk, we present the mission concept and its current state of development as well as the technological challenges, especially in the optical metrology chain. We address developments on the telescope, on the optical bench, lasers, and on the interferometric measurement.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2019
Proc. SPIE 11115, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts IX, 111150L (9 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2534618
Show Author Affiliations
Martin Gehler, European Space Agency (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11115:
UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts IX
Allison A. Barto; James B. Breckinridge; H. Philip Stahl, Editor(s)

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