Construction and testing of the optical bench for LISA pathfinder

Robertson, D.I. et al. (2013) Construction and testing of the optical bench for LISA pathfinder. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 30(8), Art. 085006. (doi:10.1088/0264-9381/30/8/085006)

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Abstract

eLISA is a space mission designed to measure gravitational radiation over a frequency range of 0.1–100 mHz (European Space Agency LISA Assessment Study Report 2011). It uses laser interferometry to measure changes of order $10\,{\rm pm /\sqrt{Hz}}$ in the separation of inertial test masses housed in spacecraft separated by 1 million km. LISA Pathfinder (LPF) is a technology demonstrator mission that will test the key eLISA technologies of inertial test masses monitored by laser interferometry in a drag-free spacecraft. The optical bench that provides the interferometry for LPF must meet a number of stringent requirements: the optical path must be stable at the few ${\rm pm /\sqrt{Hz}}$ level; it must direct the optical beams onto the inertial masses with an accuracy of better than ±25 μm, and it must be robust enough not only to survive launch vibrations but to achieve full performance after launch. In this paper we describe the construction and testing of the flight optical bench for LISA Pathfinder that meets all the design requirements.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robertson, Dr David and Ward, Professor Henry and Perreur-Lloyd, Mr Michael and Fitzsimons, Dr Ewan and Killow, Dr Christian
Authors: Robertson, D.I., Fitzsimons, E.D., Killow, C.J., Perreur-Lloyd, M., Ward, H., Bryant, J., Cruise, A.M., Dixon, G., Hoyland, D., Smith, D., and Bogenstahl, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Classical and Quantum Gravity
Publisher:Institute of Physics
ISSN:0264-9381
ISSN (Online):1361-6382
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.
First Published:First published in Classical and Quantum Gravity 30(8):085006
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
459311Investigations in Gravitational Radiation.Sheila RowanScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)PP/F001118/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
459313Investigations in Gravitational Radiation.Sheila RowanScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/J000361/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
390881Construction of Optical Bench Sub-Assembly for LISA PathfinderHenry WardParticle Physics & Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)PP/D507258/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
499401Optical Bench Development for LISAHenry WardScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/H000356/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
499402Optical Bench Development for LISAHenry WardScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/H000364/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
568481LISA Pathfinder Optical Bench: completion and deliveryHenry WardScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/I00617X/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
586531LPF and LISA: developments towards spaceborne gravitational wave detection.Henry WardScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/J002208/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
638041LISA Pathfinder: pre-and post-launch supportHenry WardScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/L001756/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY