Interferometry in Space

Our department plays the leading role in the development of the space-based gravitational-wave detector LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna). LISA technology also flies onboard the GRACE Follow-On mission, which observes climate change trough changes in the Earth's gravitational field. The department also was a major player in the LISA Pathfinder mission, which successfully tested key technologies for LISA from 2015 until 2017.

LISA will be a mission of discovery – the first gravitational-wave observatory in space. It will gather entirely new information about the dark, invisible Universe and work hand in hand with other astronomical observatories in the 2030s. [more]
Satellite gravimetry measures the Earth's gravitational field from low Earth orbit. GRACE Follow-On uses LISA technology to monitor critical indicators of climate change caused by changes in the Earth's gravitational field. The mission uses a laser interferometer with nanometre accuracy between two satellites. Because of their expertise, researchers at the AEI are involved in the design of the laser interferometers for future similar missions. [more]
LISA Pathfinder was the test mission of the European Space Agency ESA for LISA,  the first gravitational wave observatory in space. LISA Pathfinder successfully demonstrated central LISA technologies. [more]
AEI is the largest laboratory worldwide for LISA interferometry. We cover the widest range of technologies while keeping close contact to all other participating groups. [more]
LTPDA is a freely available MATLAB-based toolbox developed by our institute for LISA Pathfinder data analysis. It is highly useful for other data analysis applications as well. [more]
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