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  Retroreflector for GRACE follow-on: Vertex vs. point of minimal coupling

Schütze, D., Müller, V., Stede, G., Sheard, B., Heinzel, G., Danzmann, K., et al. (2014). Retroreflector for GRACE follow-on: Vertex vs. point of minimal coupling. Optics Express, 22(8), 9324-9333. doi:10.1364/OE.22.009324.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0023-E04F-E Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0023-E050-8
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Schütze, Daniel1, Author
Müller, Vitali1, Author
Stede, Gunnar1, Author
Sheard, Benjamin1, Author              
Heinzel, Gerhard1, Author              
Danzmann, Karsten1, Author              
Sutton, Andrew J., Author
Shaddock, Daniel A., Author
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1Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_24010              

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 Abstract: The GRACE Follow-On mission will monitor fluctuations in Earth’s geoid using, for the first time, a Laser Ranging Interferometer to measure intersatellite distance changes. We have investigated the coupling between spacecraft rotation and the intersatellite range measurement that is incurred due to manufacturing and assembly tolerances of the Triple Mirror Assembly (TMA), a precision retroreflector to ensure alignment between in- and outgoing laser beams. The three TMA mirror planes intersect in a virtual vertex to which satellite displacements are referenced. TMA manufacturing tolerances degrade this ideal vertex, however, a Point of Minimal Coupling (PMC) between spacecraft rotation and displacement exists. This paper presents the experimental location of the PMC under pitch and yaw rotations for a prototype TMA. Rotations are performed using a hexapod, while displacements are monitored with heterodyne laser interferometry to verify the PMC position. Additionally, the vertex of the three TMA mirror planes is measured using a Coordinate Measuring Machine and compared to the PMC position. In the pitch and yaw axes, the biggest deviation between TMA vertex and PMC was 50 ± 64 μm. Thus, within the measurement uncertainties, no difference between TMA vertex and PMC could be observed. This is a key piece of information for integration of the TMA into the spacecraft: It is sufficient to use the readily-available TMA vertex location to ensure minimal rotation-to-displacement coupling during the mission.

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 Dates: 2014
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1364/OE.22.009324
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Title: Optics Express
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Washington, DC : Optical Society of America
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 22 (8) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 9324 - 9333 Identifier: ISSN: 1094-4087
CoNE: /journals/resource/954925609918