Fakultäten » Mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät » Physik-Institut » Prof. Dr. Philippe Jetzer » Jetzer

Completed research project

Title / Titel LISA Pathfinder
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung We are member of the LISA Pathfinder science team and of its consortium. In a series
of papers several aspects of the LISA Pathfinder mission and the developments of its
instruments have been described. LISA Pathfinder, the second of the European
Space Agency’s Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology (SMART),
is a dedicated technology demonstrator for the joint ESA/NASA Laser Interferometer
Space Antenna (LISA) mission. The technologies required for LISA are many and extremely
challenging. This coupled with the fact that some flight hardware cannot be
fully tested on ground due to Earth-induced noise led to the implementation of the LISA
Pathfinder mission to test the critical LISA technologies in a flight environment. LISA
Pathfinder essentially mimics one arm of the LISA constellation by shrinking the 5 million
kilometre armlength down to a few tens of centimetres, giving up the sensitivity to
gravitational waves, but keeping the measurement technology: the distance between the
two test masses is measured using a laser interferometric technique similar to one aspect
of the LISA interferometry system. The scientific objective of the LISA Pathfinder mission
consists then of the first in-flight test of low frequency gravitational wave detection
metrology. LISA Pathfinder is due to be launched in 2015 on-board a dedicated small
launch vehicle (VEGA). After a series of apogee raising manoeuvres using an expendable
propulsion module, LISA Pathfinder will enter a transfer orbit towards the first Sun-Earth
Lagrange point (L1). After separation from the propulsion module, the LPF spacecraft
will be stabilized using the micro-Newton thrusters, entering a 500 000 km by 800 000
km Lissajous orbit around L1. Science results will be available approximately 2 months
after launch.
Publications / Publikationen Class. Quantum Grav., Volume 28, (2011), pp. 094001, 094002, 094003, 094006
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Philippe Jetzer (Project Leader)
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Other Public Sources (e.g. Federal or Cantonal Agencies)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
LISA Pathfinder consortium (ESA)
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jun 2003 to Dec 2016