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The ESA L3 Gravitational Wave Mission<br>Gravitational Observatory Advisory Team - Final Report

The ESA L3 Gravitational Wave Mission
Gravitational Observatory Advisory Team - Final Report

Publication date: 05 May 2016

Page: 1-71
Year: 2016

Copyright: ESA

Revision 1, 4 May 2016

In November 2013, ESA's Science Programme Committee decided that the L3 mission will address the theme 'The Gravitational Universe', responding to the science goals set out in the 2013 report of the Senior Science Committee. Accordingly, a Gravitational Wave Observatory is definitively in ESA's long-term planning, with a (programmatic) launch date of 2034.

Such a space mission presents a set of demanding challenges for the measurement accuracies and associated technologies. Accordingly, in late 2014, ESA's Director of Science and Robotic Exploration appointed an external committee, the Gravitational Observatory Advisory Team, to advise on the scientific and technical implementation of L3.

The Terms of Reference of the committee (given in Chapter 1) can be paraphrased as follows: (a) is the mission technically feasible? (b) is laser interferometry still the best approach to the measurement of gravitational waves from space? (c) how can the technical development of L3 be organised to minimize cost and schedule overruns?

The Committee was asked to report in mid-2016, and this document is the outcome of its work.

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