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.