New Laser Transmitter to Enable International Gravitational Wave Observatory

Monday, December 9, 2019 - 17:40 in Astronomy & Space

This blog post originated in the 2018 Science Mission Directorate Science and Technology Report. PROJECT Laser Transmitter for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Mission KEY POINTS A highly stable and robust laser design is a key subsystem required for the LISA observatory. By leveraging lessons learned from previous missions and the latest technologies in photonics packaging and reliability engineering, NASA is developing a master oscillator power amplifier laser transmitter to meet the challenging LISA requirements. Final product of the Phase 1 master oscillator package. What happens when two black holes that are each a million times bigger than our Sun collide? NASA and the European Space Agency are jointly developing the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) to tell us more about the gravitational waves produced by such astronomical phenomena. LISA will consist of three spacecraft flying in a constellation, each separated by 2.5 million km. Gravitational waves are incredibly elusive; to detect them scientists will need to...

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