|About the Book|
The detection of gravitational waves in space uses the proof-mass of a drag-free satellite as an inertial reference. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission requires a drag-free proof-mass with residual acceleration noise less thanMoreThe detection of gravitational waves in space uses the proof-mass of a drag-free satellite as an inertial reference. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission requires a drag-free proof-mass with residual acceleration noise less than 3x10-15m·s-1/ Hz and position sensing of 4x10-11 m/ Hz in a frequency band from 1 mHz to 1 Hz.-The Modular Gravitational Reference Sensor (MGRS) uses a single, optically sensed, spinning sphere as a drag-free reference. By eliminating the need for control forces and torques, we estimate the MGRS residual acceleration noise to be less than 9x10-16 m·s-2/ Hz , limited by direct disturbances to the proof-mass. We have developed a numeric simulation which demonstrates mass center position determination to better than 3 pm/ Hz limited by the performance of the individual optical sensors.-The Littrow grating cavity sensor is an experimental demonstration of a compact optical sensor designed to have a noise floor below 3 pm/ Hz . Using a Fabry-Perot cavity formed between a Littrow mounted diffraction grating and a reference surface, we have demonstrated a displacement noise of 10 pm/ Hz above 1 Hz. The sensor performance was limited by the laser frequency stability and could be reduced to below 1 pm/ Hz with a stabilized laser source.-This thesis establishes the foundations for the MGRS by investigating noise sources of the MGRS, data analysis techniques required to determine the mass center motion of a spinning sphere, and finally, the experimental demonstration of an optical sensor with displacement noise less than 10 pm/ Hz .