LISA Pathfinder is a technology demonstration mission for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). The main experiment on-board LISA Pathfinder is the so-called LISA Technology Package (LTP) which has the aim to measure the differential acceleration between two free-falling test masses with an accuracy of 3 × 10-14 ms-2Hz-1/2 between 1 mHz and 30 mHz. This measurement is performed interferometrically by the optical metrology system (OMS) on-board LISA Pathfinder. In this paper, we present the development of an experimental end-to-end testbed of the entire OMS. It includes the interferometer and its sub-units, the interferometer backend which is a phasemeter and the processing of the phasemeter output data. Furthermore, three-axes piezo-actuated mirrors are used instead of the free-falling test masses for the characterization of the dynamic behaviour of the system and some parts of the drag-free and attitude control system (DFACS) which controls the test masses and the satellite. The end-to-end testbed includes all parts of the LTP that can reasonably be tested on earth without free-falling test masses. At its present status it consists mainly of breadboard components. Some of those have already been replaced by engineering models of the LTP experiment. In the next steps, further engineering and flight models will also be inserted in this testbed and tested against well-characterized breadboard components. The presented testbed is an important reference for the unit tests and can also be used for validation of the on-board experiment during the mission.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)