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LISA Metrology System - Final Report

MPS-Authors
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Barke,  Simon
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

Brause,  Nils
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Bykov,  Iouri
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Esteban Delgado,  Juan Jose
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Gerberding,  Oliver
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Heinzel,  Gerhard
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Kullmann,  Joachim
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Barke, S., Brause, N., Bykov, I., Esteban Delgado, J. J., Enggaard, A., Gerberding, O., et al. (2014). LISA Metrology System - Final Report.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0023-E266-6
Abstract
Gravitational Waves will open an entirely new window to the Universe, different from all other astronomy in that the gravitational waves will tell us about large-scale mass motions even in regions and at distances totally obscured to electromagnetic radiation. The most interesting sources are at low frequencies (mHz to Hz) inaccessible on ground due to seismic and other unavoidable disturbances. For these sources observation from space is the only option, and has been studied in detail for more than 20 years as the LISA concept. Consequently, The Gravitational Universe has been chosen as science theme for the L3 mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision program. The primary measurement in LISA and derived concepts is the observation of tiny (picometer) pathlength fluctuations between remote spacecraft using heterodyne laser interferometry. The interference of two laser beams, with MHz frequency difference, produces a MHz beat note that is converted to a photocurrent by a photodiode on the optical bench. The gravitational wave signal is encoded in the phase of this beat note. The next, and crucial, step is therefore to measure that phase with µcycle resolution in the presence of noise and other signals. This measurement is the purpose of the LISA metrology system and the subject of this report.