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LISA Technology

The next step

Testing key technologies in space

Since early 2016, the ESA LISA Pathfinder mission (LPF) is demonstrating the LISA key technologies in space. It shows for instance the possibility of achieving the undisturbed free fall of the test masses required for LISA.

LPF provides the minimum setup needed to demonstrate the perfect free fall along one axis, mimicking the key aspects of one of the LISA arms: two free-falling test masses and a high-precision interferometerbased metrology system to measure their relative motion.

The specific goal of the LPF mission is to demonstrate that the relative acceleration between two free test masses is less than 3×10-14ms-2/√Hz at frequencies of 1-10 mHz, roughly an order of magnitude relaxed from the LISA requirements.

LISA Pathfinder has successfully demonstrated the technology for a gravitational wave observatory in space such as LISA. Its performance is spectacular and exceeds expectations by far.

LISA Pathfinder is realized with NASA contributions.

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