l’Institut Fresnel a officiellement rejoint le consortium du grand projet LISA

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Vers la nouvelle génération de détecteurs d’ondes gravitationnelles

L’ESA a officiellement validé l’intégration de l’Institut Fresnel dans le consortium du grand projet LISA. Il s’agit du plus grand projet jamais financé par l’ESA. Il est également soutenu par la NASA et toutes les agences spatiales nationales dont le CNES pour la France.

With the recent direct detections of Gravitational Waves from merging black holes by the LIGO and Virgo observatories, the era of Gravitational Wave astronomy has begun. But on Earth, observations are limited to objects with masses a few 10’s that of the Sun, which produce high-frequency signals. Sources with much larger masses, such as the mergers of massive black holes at the centres of galaxies, produce signals at much lower frequencies, undetectable on Earth, so their detection requires a space interferometer, LISA.

LISA, Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, is a space-borne Gravitational Wave Observatory with an arm-length of 2.5 million km, compared to the few km’s of the ground-based observatories. LISA is the largest project ever led by ESA, with the support of NASA and all the European national Space Agencies.

LISA will be a Space interferometer with 3 arms whose length is 2.5 million km. The 3 satellites with optical payloads will be launched in 2034 to flight in formation on the same orbit than the Earth. Due to the distances and the configuration of the interferometer, the performances of the instrument will be mainly limited by the straylight which is in this project a critical point and an ambitious technical and scientific challenge.

In this context, as the international leader of this field, the Institut Fresnel has been asked to join the LISA Consortium to take the charge of the modeling and metrology of straylight at the component level. The integration of Institut Fresnel to the LISA Consortium and the composition of the LISA Team of the lab have been officially validated by ESA in July 2018.

The Institut Fresnel is now active part of the LIG (LISA Instrument Group) and SLWG (Straylight Working Group). New numerical and experimental developments will be developed by the laboratory on the basis on the expertise of the CONCEPT Group and DIFFUSIF Platform.

The other French laboratories which are part of the LISA Consortium are
 Observatoire de Paris

Head of LISA Team at Institut Fresnel : Myriam Zerrad

More information on LISA project :
 Site de la Mission "Laser Interferometer Space Antenna" : www.lisamission.org
 Site de l’Agence Spatiale Européenne : http://sci.esa.int/lisa
 Site de la NASA : https://lisa.nasa.gov