Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
Reciprocity of the Backlink for LISA
A phase reference distribution system (PRDS) between the two optical benches in each LISA satellite is required. This is achieved by exchanging the local lasers of both benches via the so-called Backlink.
Experimental investigations on a fiber Backlink revealed performance-limiting challenges caused by the backscatter of the counter-propagating light inside this fiber. A potential increase of backscatter caused by radiation damage was investigated further and concluded to be uncritical.
Additional studies of coupling mechanisms and modeling of the backscatter’s influence on the measurement paved the way for the baseline LISA Backlink recommendation. It will be further tested and studied in an engineering model.
Simultaneously, the Three-Backlink Experiment compares three different implementations of a Backlink and studies different noise suppression techniques in detail. This experiment consists of two quasi-monolithic optical benches with a complex design. In the past years, they were built in a cleanroom at the AEI in Hannover. The experiment is in its commissioning phase but already shows promising disentanglement of the different Backlink performances, which enables studying their distinct noise contributions and coupling mechanism. When the experiment reaches its design sensitivity of 1 pm/sqrt(Hz), it will further enable to study of several aspects of the LISA Backlink in detail.
Literature: PhD Theses
Steier, F.: Interferometry techniques for spaceborne gravitational wave detectors. Dissertation, Universität Hannover, Fakultät für Mathematik und Physik, Hannover (2008)
The November of Science at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) and the Institute for Gravitational Physics of Leibniz Universität Hannover with seven exciting events