LISA Pathfinder platform stability and drag-free performance

Armano, M. et al. (2019) LISA Pathfinder platform stability and drag-free performance. Physical Review D, 99(8), 082001. (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.99.082001)

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The science operations of the LISA Pathfinder mission have demonstrated the feasibility of sub-femto-g free fall of macroscopic test masses necessary to build a gravitational wave observatory in space such as LISA. While the main focus of interest, i.e., the optical axis or the x-axis, has been extensively studied, it is also of great importance to evaluate the stability of the spacecraft with respect to all the other degrees of freedom (d.o.f.). The current paper is dedicated to such a study: the exhaustive and quantitative evaluation of the imperfections and dynamical effects that impact the stability with respect to its local geodesic. A model of the complete closed-loop system provides a comprehensive understanding of each component of the in-loop coordinates spectral density. As will be presented, this model gives very good agreement with LISA Pathfinder flight data. It allows one to identify the noise source at the origin and the physical phenomena underlying the couplings. From this, the stability performance of the spacecraft with respect to its geodesic is extracted as a function of frequency. Close to 1 mHz, the stability of the spacecraft on the Xsc, Ysc and Zsc d.o.f. is shown to be of the order of 5.0×10−15 m s−2 Hz−1/2 for X, 6.0×10−14  m s−2 Hz−1/2 for Y, and 4.0×10−14 m s−2 Hz−1/2 for Z. For the angular d.o.f., the values are of the order of 3×10−12 rad s−2 Hz−1/2 for Θsc, 5×10−13  rad s−2  Hz−1/2 for Hsc, and 3×10−13  rad s−2  Hz−1/2 for Φsc. Below 1 mHz, however, the stability performances are worsened significantly by the effect of the star tracker noise on the closed-loop system. It is worth noting that LISA is expected to be spared from such concerns, as differential wave-front sensing, an attitude sensor system of much higher precision, will be utilized for attitude control.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work has been made possible by the LISA Pathfinder mission, which is part of the space-science programme of the European Space Agency. The French contribution has been supported by the CNES (Accord Specific de projet CNES 1316634/CNRS 103747), the CNRS, the Observatoire de Paris and the University Paris-Diderot. E. Plagnol and H. Inchausp´e would also like to acknowledge the financial support of the UnivEarthS Labex program at Sorbonne Paris Cit´e (ANR-10-LABX-0023 and ANR-11-IDEX-0005-02). The Albert-Einstein-Institut acknowledges the support of the German Space Agency, DLR. The work is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy based on a resolution of the German Bundestag (FKZ 50OQ0501 and FKZ 50OQ1601). The Italian contribution has been supported by Agenzia Spaziale Italiana and Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare. The Spanish contribution has been supported by contracts AYA2010-15709 (MICINN), ESP2013-47637- P, and ESP2015-67234-P (MINECO). M. Nofrarias acknowledges support from Fundacion General CSIC (Programa ComFuturo). F. Rivas acknowledges an FPI contract (MINECO). The Swiss contribution acknowledges the support of the Swiss Space Office (SSO) via the PRODEX Programme of ESA. L. Ferraioli is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The UK groups wish to acknowledge support from the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA), the University of Glasgow, the University of Birmingham, Imperial College, and the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA). J. I. Thorpe and J. Slutsky acknowledge the support of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robertson, Dr David and Ward, Professor Henry and Perreur-Lloyd, Mr Michael and Killow, Dr Christian
Authors: Armano, M., Audley, H., Baird, J., Binetruy, P., Born, M., Bortoluzzi, D., Castelli, E., Cavalleri, A., Cesarini, A., Cruise, A.M., Danzmann, K., de Deus Silva, M., Diepholz, I., Dixon, G., Dolesi, R., Ferraioli, L., Ferroni, V., Fitzsimons, E.D., Freschi, M., Gesa, L., Gibert, F., Giardini, D., Giusteri, R., Grimani, C., Grzymisch, J., Harrison, I., Heinzel, G., Hewitson, M., Hollington, D., Hoyland, D., Hueller, M., Inchauspé, H., Jennrich, O., Jetzer, P., Karnesis, N., Kaune, B., Korsakova, N., Killow, C.J., Lobo, J.A., Lloro, I., Liu, L., López-Zaragoza, J.P., Maarschalkerweerd, R., Mance, D., Meshksar, N., Martín, V., Martin-Polo, L., Martino, J., Martin-Porqueras, F., Mateos, I., McNamara, P.W., Mendes, J., Mendes, L., Nofrarias, M., Paczkowski, S., Perreur-Lloyd, M., Petiteau, A., Pivato, P., Plagnol, E., Ramos-Castro, J., Reiche, J., Robertson, D.I., Rivas, F., Russano, G., Slutsky, J., Sopuerta, C.F., Sumner, T., Texier, D., Thorpe, J. I., Vetrugno, D., Vitale, S., Wanner, G., Ward, H., Wass, P.J., Weber, W.J., Wissel, L., Wittchen, A., and Zweifel, P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Physical Review D
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN (Online):2470-0029
Published Online:16 April 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 American Physical Society
First Published:First published in Physical Review D 99(8):082001
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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