Heidelberg 2015 – wissenschaftliches Programm
A 14.1: Gruppenbericht
Dienstag, 24. März 2015, 11:00–11:30, G/gHS
Laser Ranging Interferometer for GRACE Follow-On — •Christina Bogan, Gerhard Heinzel, and On behalf of the LRI team — Max-Planck-Institute for Gravitational Physics, Hannover, Germany
The GRACE satellite mission is measuring the earth's gravity field and its temporal variations since March 2002. What was planned to be a five year mission is still collecting data which show e.g. the drastic climate change all over the planet. However, the fuel of the two satellites is limited and anytime soon they will have to stop operations. Therefore, it was decided to launch a following mission as soon as possible, GRACE Follow On (GFO), with a scheduled launch date of August 2017. Like GRACE the GFO mission is a joint US/German project. This new mission will be an almost identical copy of the former mission but with an additional science instrument on board. The Laser Ranging Interferometer (LRI) will demonstrate for the first time the high precision inter-satellite distance measurement using a heterodyne interferometer. This will increase the accuracy of the distance measurement compared to the main science instrument which uses microwave radiation by a factor of 25. In this talk we will present the concept of the LRI, introduce the different subsystems and give an overview about the current status.