In support of NASA – Goddard Space Flight Center and ESA’s Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission to measure gravitational waves in space, Avo Photonics is producing over 20 next-generation laser seed sources to demonstrate its design efficacy, manufacturing processes, and most-importantly laser system ruggedness. This development comes after Avo’s previous successful delivery of the prototype version of these lasers.
This exciting development comes only five years after the ground-based observatory, LIGO, made its first monumental detection of gravitational waves. The LISA observations will be made while in orbit around the sun. Three satellites will form a triangular interferometer consisting of 2.5 million km arms. With launch set for the mid-2030s, the arduous path of iterative design, material selection, assembly, test, and qualifying processes is underway. Rigorous requirements must be met to assure the lasers’ necessary performance and ruggedness during ground-based testing, launch, and throughout their 10+ year life in orbit.