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Leibniz Universität Hannover

Technical Challenge in Space

One of the forward-looking projects in the field of gravitational waves is the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), a joint  ESA/ NASA mission. The only possibility to detect gravitational waves at low frequencies is to build a detector in space, where the background noise is small enough. The arms of LISA are formed by laser light traveling between the three spacecraft that are separated by 5 million kilometers. LISA will be the biggest structure ever built by man and perhaps sensitive enough to "listen" to the echo of the Big Bang.

LISA is foreseen to launch in 2020 and is designed to be a gravitational wave observatory for frequencies between 0.1 mHz and 1 Hz. LISA will be complementary to the ground based interferometric gravitational wave detectors as LIGO and Advanced LIGO (USA), GEO600 (Germany/Great Britain), VIRGO/EGO (France/Italy) and TAMA300 (Japan), that are sensitive in a frequency range between 10 Hz and a few kHz.

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Related Topics
LISA Pathfinder
Gravitational Waves
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LISA International Science Community
LISA Page by ESA (public and press)
LISA Research & Science Page by ESA