21 July 2010 Picometer stable scan mechanism for gravitational wave detection in space
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Abstract
Detection and observation of gravitational waves requires extremely accurate displacement measurement in the frequency range 0.03 mHz to 1 Hz. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission will attain this by creating a giant interferometer in space, based on free floating proof masses in three spacecrafts. Due to orbit evolution and time delay in the interferometer arms, the direction of transmitted light changes. To solve this problem, a picometer stable Point-Ahead Angle Mechanism (PAAM) was designed, realized and successfully tested. The PAAM concept is based on a rotatable mirror. The critical requirements are the contribution to the optical path length (less than 1.4 pm / rt Hz) and the angular jitter (less than 8 nrad / rt Hz). Extreme dimensional stability is achieved by manufacturing a monolithical Haberland hinge mechanism out of Ti6Al4V, through high precision wire erosion. Extreme thermal stability is realized by placing the thermal center on the surface of the mirror. Because of piezo actuator noise and leakage, the PAAM has to be controlled in closed-loop. To meet the requirements in the low frequencies, an active target capacitance-to-digital converter is used. Interferometric measurements with a triangular resonant cavity in vacuum proved that the PAAM meets the requirements.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
N. Rijnveld, N. Rijnveld, J. A. C. M. Pijnenburg, J. A. C. M. Pijnenburg, "Picometer stable scan mechanism for gravitational wave detection in space", Proc. SPIE 7734, Optical and Infrared Interferometry II, 77341R (21 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857040; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857040
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