Record Details

LISA Pathfinder and eLISA news
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Author and Affiliation:
Thorpe, James Ira(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD United States);
Mueller, Guido(Florida Univ., Gainesville, FL, United States)
Abstract: Two important gatherings of the space-based gravitational-wave detector community were held in Zurich, Switzerland this past March. The first was a meeting of the Science Working Team for LISA Pathfinder (LPF), a dedicated technology demonstrator mission for a future LISA-like gravitational wave observatory. LPF is entering an extremely exciting phase with launch less than 15 months away. All flight components for both the European science payload, known as the LISA Technology Package (LTP), and the NASA science payload, known as the Space Technology 7 Disturbance Reduction System (ST7-DRS), have been delivered and are undergoing integration. The final flight component for the spacecraft bus, a cold-gas thruster based on the successful GAIA design, will be delivered later this year. Current focus is on completing integration of the science payload (see Figures 1 and 2) and preparation for operations and data analysis. After a launch in Summer 2015, LPF will take approximately 90 days to reach its operational orbit around the Earth-Sun Lagrange point (L1), where it will begin science operations. After 90 days of LTP operations followed by 90 days of DRS operations, LPF will have completed its prime mission of paving the way for a space-based observatory of gravitational waves in the milliHertz band. Immediately following the meeting of the LPF team, the eLISA consortium held its third progress meeting. The consortium ( is the organizing body of the European space-based gravitational-wave community, and it was responsible for the "The Gravitational Universe" whitepaper that resulted in the November 2013 election of a gravitational-wave science theme for ESA's Cosmic Visions L3 opportunity. In preparation for an L3 mission concept call, which is expected later this decade, and for launch in the mid 2030s, the eLISA consortium members are coordinating technology development and mission study activities which will build on the LPF results. The final mission concept is expected to include some international (non-European) contributions, and NASA has expressed an interest in participating in this ground-breaking mission. The US research community supports such a collaboration, or any other mission scenario that achieves the high-priority science of a space-based gravitational-wave observatory at the earliest possible date.
Publication Date: May 01, 2014
Document ID:
(Acquired Jul 17, 2014)
Subject Category: ASTROPHYSICS
Report/Patent Number: GSFC-E-DAA-TN14823
Document Type: Preprint
Publisher Information: American Astronomical Society
Financial Sponsor: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, MD United States
Organization Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, MD United States
Description: 3p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
Other Descriptors: PATHFINDER; ELISA; NEWS
Miscellaneous Notes: To be published in the AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) newsletter
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