publication 25-April-2018 22:29:43

Construction and testing of the optical bench for LISA Pathfinder

Publication date: 25 June 2013

Authors: Robertson, D.I., et al.,

Journal: Classical and Quantum Gravity
Volume: 30
Page: 085006
Year: 2013

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 pm per square root Hertz 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 per square root Hertz 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.

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Last Update: 25 June 2013

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