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Sub-Femto-g Free Fall for Space-Based Gravitational Wave Observatories: LISA Pathfinder Results

Published

Author(s)

Michele Armano, Heather Audley, Gerard Auger, Jonathon Baird, Massimo Bassan, Pierre Binetruy, Michael Born, Daniele Bortoluzzi, Nico Brandt, Antonella Cavalleri, Andrea Cesarini, Giacomo Ciani, Giuseppe Congedo, Mike Cruise, Karsten Danzmann, Marcus de Deus Silva, Rosario De Rosa, Marc Diaz Aguilo, Luciano Di Fiore, Ingo Diepholz, George Dixon, Rita Dolesi, Luigi Ferraioli, Valerio Ferroni, Walter Fichter, Reinhold Flatscher, Antonio F. Garcia Marin, Cesar Garcia Marirrodriga, Ruediger Gerndt, Ferran Gibert, Domenico Giardini, Roberta Giusteri, Felipe Guzman, Aniello Grado, Catia Grimani, Adrien Grynagier, Jonathan Grzymisch, Ian Harrison, Gerhard Heinzel, Martin Hewitson, Daniel Hollington, David Hoyland, Mauro Hueller, Henri Inchauspe, Oliver Jennrich, Philippe Jetzer, Ulrich Johann, Bengt Johlander, Nico Karnesis, Natalia Korsakova, Christian Killow, Alberto Lobo, Ivan Lloro, Li Liu, Juan P. Lopez Zaragoza, Rolf Maarschalkerweerd, Davor Mance, Victor Martin, Luis Martin Polo, Joseph Martino, Fernando Martin Porqueras, Sean Madden, Ignacio Mateos, Paul McNamara, Jose Mendes, Luis Mendes, Anneke Monsky, Daniele Nicolodi, Miquel Nofrarias, Sarah Paczkowski, Michael Perreur-Lloyd, Antoine Petiteau, Paolo Pivato, Eric Plagnol, Pierre Prat, Ulrike Ragnit, Boutheina Rais, Juan Ramos Castro, Jens Reiche, David I. Robertson, Hans Rozemeijer, Francisco Rivas, Giuliana Russano, Josep Sanjuan, Paolo Sarra, Alexander Schleicher, Diana Shaul, Jacob Slutsky, Carlos Sopuerta, Ruggero Stanga, Frank Steier, Damien Texier, James I. Thorpe, Christian Trenkel, Hai-Bo Tu, Daniele Vetrugno, Stefano Vitale, Vinzenz Wand, Gudrun Wanner, Henry Ward, C Warren, Peter Wass, David Wealthy, William J. Weber, Lennart Wissel, Andreas Wittchen, Andrea Zambotti, Carlo Zanoni, Tobias Ziegler, Peter Zweifel

Abstract

We report the first results of the LISA Pathfinder in-flight experiment. The results demonstrate that two free-falling reference test masses, such as those needed for a space-based gravitational wave observatory like LISA, can be put in free fall with a relative acceleration noise with a square root of the power spectral density of 5.2 +/- 0.1 fm s^(−2)/rtHz, or (0.54 +/- 0.01) × 10^(−15) g/rtHz, with g the standard gravity, for frequencies between 0.7 and 20 mHz. This value is lower than the LISA Pathfinder requirement by more than a factor 5 and within a factor 1.25 of the requirement for the LISA mission, and is compatible with Brownian noise from viscous damping due to the residual gas surrounding the test masses. Above 60 mHz the acceleration noise is dominated by interferometer displacement readout noise at a level of (34.8 +/- 0.3) fm/rtHz, about orders of magnitude better than requirements. At f ≤ 0.5 mHz we observe a low-frequency tail that stays below 12 fm s^(−2)/rtHz down to 0.1 mHz. This performance would allow for a space-based gravitational wave observatory with a sensitivity close to what was originally foreseen for LISA.
Citation
Physical Review Letters

Keywords

optical metrology, small forces, acceleration, space science

Citation

Armano, M. , Audley, H. , Auger, G. , Baird, J. , Bassan, M. , Binetruy, P. , Born, M. , Bortoluzzi, D. , Brandt, N. , Cavalleri, A. , Cesarini, A. , Ciani, G. , Congedo, G. , Cruise, M. , Danzmann, K. , de Deus Silva, M. , De Rosa, R. , Diaz Aguilo, M. , Di Fiore, L. , Diepholz, I. , Dixon, G. , Dolesi, R. , Ferraioli, L. , Ferroni, V. , Fichter, W. , Flatscher, R. , Garcia Marin, A. , Garcia Marirrodriga, C. , Gerndt, R. , Gibert, F. , Giardini, D. , Giusteri, R. , Guzman, F. , Grado, A. , Grimani, C. , Grynagier, A. , Grzymisch, J. , Harrison, I. , Heinzel, G. , Hewitson, M. , Hollington, D. , Hoyland, D. , Hueller, M. , Inchauspe, H. , Jennrich, O. , Jetzer, P. , Johann, U. , Johlander, B. , Karnesis, N. , Korsakova, N. , Killow, C. , Lobo, A. , Lloro, I. , Liu, L. , Lopez Zaragoza, J. , Maarschalkerweerd, R. , Mance, D. , Martin, V. , Martin Polo, L. , Martino, J. , Martin Porqueras, F. , Madden, S. , Mateos, I. , McNamara, P. , Mendes, J. , Mendes, L. , Monsky, A. , Nicolodi, D. , Nofrarias, M. , Paczkowski, S. , Perreur-Lloyd, M. , Petiteau, A. , Pivato, P. , Plagnol, E. , Prat, P. , Ragnit, U. , Rais, B. , Ramos Castro, J. , Reiche, J. , Robertson, D. , Rozemeijer, H. , Rivas, F. , Russano, G. , Sanjuan, J. , Sarra, P. , Schleicher, A. , Shaul, D. , Slutsky, J. , Sopuerta, C. , Stanga, R. , Steier, F. , Texier, D. , Thorpe, J. , Trenkel, C. , Tu, H. , Vetrugno, D. , Vitale, S. , Wand, V. , Wanner, G. , Ward, H. , Warren, C. , Wass, P. , Wealthy, D. , Weber, W. , Wissel, L. , Wittchen, A. , Zambotti, A. , Zanoni, C. , Ziegler, T. and Zweifel, P. (2016), Sub-Femto-g Free Fall for Space-Based Gravitational Wave Observatories: LISA Pathfinder Results, Physical Review Letters (Accessed May 25, 2024)

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Created June 6, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021