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Journal Article

The TianQin project: current progress on science and technology


Wang,  Yi-Fan
AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Mei, J., Bai, Y.-Z., Bao, J., Barausse, E., Cai, L., Canuto, E., et al. (2020). The TianQin project: current progress on science and technology. Progress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics, ptaa114. doi:10.1093/ptep/ptaa114.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-4E68-E
TianQin is a planned space-based gravitational wave (GW) observatory consisting of three earth orbiting satellites with an orbital radius of about $10^5~{\rm km}$. The satellites will form a equilateral triangle constellation the plane of which is nearly perpendicular to the ecliptic plane. TianQin aims to detect GWs between $10^{-4}~{\rm Hz}$ and $1~{\rm Hz}$ that can be generated by a wide variety of important astrophysical and cosmological sources, including the inspiral of Galactic ultra-compact binaries, the inspiral of stellar-mass black hole binaries, extreme mass ratio inspirals, the merger of massive black hole binaries, and possibly the energetic processes in the very early universe or exotic sources such as cosmic strings. In order to start science operations around 2035, a roadmap called the 0123 plan is being used to bring the key technologies of TianQin to maturity, supported by the construction of a series of research facilities on the ground. Two major projects of the 0123 plan are being carried out. In this process, the team has created a new generation $17~{\rm cm}$ single-body hollow corner-cube retro-reflector which has been launched with the QueQiao satellite on 21 May 2018; a new laser ranging station equipped with a $1.2~{\rm m}$ telescope has been constructed and the station has successfully ranged to all the five retro-reflectors on the Moon; and the TianQin-1 experimental satellite has been launched on 20 December 2019 and the first round result shows that the satellite has exceeded all of its mission requirements.