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LISA Pathfinder Performance Confirmed in an Open-Loop Configuration: Results from the Free-Fall Actuation Mode


Abstract

We report on the results of the LISA Pathfinder (LPF) free-fall mode experiment, in which the control force needed to compensate the quasistatic differential force acting on two test masses is applied intermittently as a series of "impulse" forces lasting a few seconds and separated by roughly 350 s periods of true free fall. This represents an alternative to the normal LPF mode of operation in which this balancing force is applied continuously, with the advantage that the acceleration noise during free fall is measured in the absence of the actuation force, thus eliminating associated noise and force calibration errors. The differential acceleration noise measurement presented here with the free-fall mode agrees with noise measured with the continuous actuation scheme, representing an important and independent confirmation of the LPF result. An additional measurement with larger actuation forces also shows that the technique can be used to eliminate actuation noise when this is a dominant factor.

Abstract

We report on the results of the LISA Pathfinder (LPF) free-fall mode experiment, in which the control force needed to compensate the quasistatic differential force acting on two test masses is applied intermittently as a series of "impulse" forces lasting a few seconds and separated by roughly 350 s periods of true free fall. This represents an alternative to the normal LPF mode of operation in which this balancing force is applied continuously, with the advantage that the acceleration noise during free fall is measured in the absence of the actuation force, thus eliminating associated noise and force calibration errors. The differential acceleration noise measurement presented here with the free-fall mode agrees with noise measured with the continuous actuation scheme, representing an important and independent confirmation of the LPF result. An additional measurement with larger actuation forces also shows that the technique can be used to eliminate actuation noise when this is a dominant factor.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Physics and Astronomy
Language:English
Date:11 September 2019
Deposited On:30 Oct 2019 10:56
Last Modified:04 Nov 2019 09:00
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:0031-9007
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.123.111101

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