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

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Armano, M.; Audley, H.; Auger, G.; Baird, J.T. et al. : Sub-Femto- g Free Fall for Space-Based Gravitational Wave Observatories: LISA Pathfinder Results. In: Physical Review Letters 116 (2016), Nr. 23, 231101. DOI:

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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/Hz, or (0.54±0.01)×10−15  g/Hz, 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/Hz, about 2 orders of magnitude better than requirements. At f≤0.5  mHz we observe a low-frequency tail that stays below 12  fm s−2/Hz 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.
License of this version: CC BY 3.0 Unported
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2016
Appears in Collections:Fakultät für Mathematik und Physik

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1 image of flag of Germany Germany 123 83.11%
2 image of flag of China China 14 9.46%
3 image of flag of United States United States 5 3.38%
4 image of flag of Russian Federation Russian Federation 1 0.68%
5 image of flag of Japan Japan 1 0.68%
6 image of flag of India India 1 0.68%
7 image of flag of Ireland Ireland 1 0.68%
8 image of flag of Indonesia Indonesia 1 0.68%
9 image of flag of Hungary Hungary 1 0.68%

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