Testing LISA technology in space
LISA Pathfinder is a technology demonstration mission for LISA (Laser
Interferometer Space Antenna) consisting of
two LISA-like test masses in a single satellite. As in LISA, these test masses
will be kept drag-free and an interferometer will monitor their position
fluctuations with picometer precision. In this sense, LISA Pathfinder can be
regarded as a single LISA arm scaled down to 30 cm and enclosed in one
satellite. Its implementation phase has already begun and launch is presently
scheduled for 2010.
LISA Pathfinder will carry two different payloads: the European LISA
Technology Package (LTP) and the NASA-provided Disturbance Reduction System
(DRS). The investigations at the Albert-Einstein-Institute regarding LISA
Pathfinder focus on the LTP interferometry.