Sensor Noise in LISA Pathfinder: In-Flight Performance of the Optical Test Mass Readout

M. Armano, H. Audley, J. Baird, P. Binetruy, M. Born, D. Bortoluzzi, N. Brandt, E. Castelli, A. Cavalleri, A. Cesarini, A. M. Cruise, K. Danzmann, M. De Deus Silva, I. Diepholz, G. Dixon, R. Dolesi, L. Ferraioli, V. Ferroni, E. D. Fitzsimons, R. FlatscherM. Freschi, A. García, R. Gerndt, L. Gesa, D. Giardini, F. Gibert, R. Giusteri, C. Grimani, J. Grzymisch, F. Guzman, I. Harrison, M. S. Hartig, G. Heinzel, M. Hewitson, D. Hollington, D. Hoyland, M. Hueller, H. Inchauspé, O. Jennrich, P. Jetzer, U. Johann, B. Johlander, N. Karnesis, B. Kaune, C. J. Killow, N. Korsakova, J. A. Lobo, L. Liu, J. P. López-Zaragoza, R. Maarschalkerweerd, D. Mance, V. Martín, L. Martin-Polo, F. Martin-Porqueras, J. Martino, P. W. McNamara, J. Mendes, L. Mendes, N. Meshksar, A. Monsky, M. Nofrarias, S. Paczkowski, M. Perreur-Lloyd, A. Petiteau, P. Pivato, E. Plagnol, J. Ramos-Castro, J. Reiche, F. Rivas, D. I. Robertson, G. Russano, J. Sanjuan, J. Slutsky, C. F. Sopuerta, F. Steier, T. Sumner, D. Texier, J. I. Thorpe, D. Vetrugno, S. Vitale, V. Wand, G. Wanner, H. Ward, P. J. Wass, W. J. Weber, L. Wissel, A. Wittchen, P. Zweifel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on the first subpicometer interferometer flown in space. It was part of ESA's Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Pathfinder mission and performed the fundamental measurement of the positional and angular motion of two free-falling test masses. The interferometer worked immediately, stably, and reliably from switch on until the end of the mission with exceptionally low residual noise of 32.0-1.7+2.4 fm/Hz, significantly better than required. We present an upper limit for the sensor performance at millihertz frequencies and a model for the measured sensitivity above 200 mHz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131103
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 2 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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