Title of Presentation: Title: Bench-top models of LISA Interferometry at the University of Florida

Primary (Corresponding) Author: James Ira Thorpe

Organization of Primary Author: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Co-Authors: R.J. Cruz1, S. Mitryk, S. Reddy, Y. Yu, G. Mueller


Abstract: Abstract: The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a joint effort of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to build and operate a space-based detector of gravitational waves. Along with ground-based observatories, LISA will launch the new field of gravitational wave astronomy, which promises to provide important insights in many areas of astronomy and cosmology. LISA will consist of a constellation of three satellites in a triangular configuration five million kilometers on a side. Laser interferometry will be used to monitor changes in the distance between the satellites at a level of tens of picometers in an effort to detect small fluctuations induced by gravitational waves. Achieving such precise distance measurements over large distances requires a number of novel measurement techniques and technologies. Our group at the University of Florida is developing UFLIS (the University of Florida LISA Interferometry Simulator), a laboratory model which faithfully reproduces most aspects of the LISA interferometer. UFLIS is being used to study various aspects of LISA interferometry ranging from general measurement techniques to specific hardware implementations. In this talk we will describe UFLIS in general with an emphasis on the technology we have developed. This work is supported by NASA/OSS grant APRA04- 0095-0007.