content 19-November-2017 09:31:05

Objectives

LISA Pathfinder is testing key technologies for future spaceborne gravitational wave observatories.

To this end, LISA Pathfinder carries the LISA Technology Package (LTP), a set of micropropulsion thrusters and drag-free control software provided by European institutes and industry, and a Disturbance Reduction System (DRS) composed of micropropulsion thrusters and drag-free control software, provided by NASA.

The mission goals for LISA Pathfinder are:

  • Demonstrate drag-free and attitude control in a spacecraft with two test masses in order to isolate the masses from inertial disturbances
    • LISA Pathfinder performance required
      3×10-14 ms-2 Hz-1/2, rising with frequency squared (f2) above 3 mHz, over the measurement bandwidth of 1-30 mHz
    • Future mission performance required
      3×10-15 ms-2 Hz-1/2, rising with frequency squared (f2) above 3 mHz, over the measurement bandwidth of 0.1 mHz - 1 Hz
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of performing laser interferometry in the required low-frequency regime with a performance as close as possible to 10-12 m Hz-1/2 in the frequency band 1-30 mHz.
  • Assess the longevity and reliability of the capacitive sensors, thrusters, lasers and optics in the space environment

 


Last Update: 11 January 2016

For further information please contact: SciTech.editorial@esa.int

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