News & Events

HEPL / KIPAC Seminar

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Massimo Tinto

Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
California Institute of Technology

Searching for Gravitational Waves with a Geostationary Interferometer

Abstract: The end of the NASA/ESA partnership for flying the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission has prompted the scientific community to study new mission concepts capable of meeting most (if not all) LISA’s scientific objectives at a lower cost. It was within this spirit that in 2011 we [1] submitted to NASA, in response to the 2011 Request for Information, a new mission concept called Geostationary Gravitational Wave Interferometer (GEOGRAWI).

Because of its smaller arm length, this proposed Earth-orbiting detector is less sensitive (by a factor of about seventy) than LISA in the lower part of its accessible frequency band (10−4 − 2×10−2) Hz, while it outperforms it by the same factor in the higher-part of it (2×10−2 − 10) Hz. Although scientifically attractive and cheaper (by about a factor of 2) than LISA, this mission was regarded as being still too expensive.

In order to further reduce its cost, in recent months I have started to explore the possibility and technical challenges of flying such a mission on the commercial fleet. Several aerospace companies (such as Loral, Boeing, and Lockheed) offer to fly (for about US$30M) additional cargos (up to 300 kg) in the form of scientific instruments. By modifying existing gravitational reference sensor designs to work onboard these platforms, we could fly a geostationary gravitational wave interferometer mission potentially capable of meeting most of LISA’s scientific goals at a fraction of the cost.

Bio: (Not Available)

Time: 4:15 – 5:15pm

Location: Physics/Astrophysics Bldg., Kistler Conference Rms. 102/103 (Map)

(Light refreshments available 4:00pm; Presentation begins 4:15pm

Open to All