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Construction and Experimental Measurement of ultra-stable interferometer for Space Application

Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics

The Space Interferometry group at the Albert Einstein Institute in Hannover is one of the leading institutions for technology development for the LISA mission. LISA will be a space borne interferometric observatory for gravitational waves from extreme mass astrophysical sources like super-massive black holes. It will enable the observation of these sources throughout the whole universe and was recently granted by the European Space Agency (ESA) to be their next large mission (L3). The three LISA satellites will utilize ultra-stable interferometers bonded on zerodure glass plates to achieve measurement sensitivities around 1 picometer at frequencies as low as 1 mHz, which is impossible to reach on earth.
The Phase Reference Distribution System (PRDS) team at the Albert Einstein Institute, in an international collaboration with the University of Glasgow (UGL) and the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UKATC) in Edinburgh, is in charge of design, construction and testing of a state of the art engineering model for the PRDS interferometer and alternative elegant breadboards as a systems. Those interferometers will be the prototypes for the actual LISA spacecraft PRDS and verify their performance for in-flight use and is a core feature of the current LISA design.
The candidate will work in a team of 5-7 people on the construction of the PRDS interferometer and validate their performance via measurements. Strong experimental skills will be obtained including Gaussian laser optics, interferometer design/adjustment, heterodyne interferometry, electronic feedback control loops and digital electronics. Weekly telecons with UGL and UKATC will be done and possible work travels to those institutes can be offered.
The position can be done in the course of a master thesis and/or a phd thesis (a follow up phd thesis after a masters is also possible).
We also have open spots for Postdocs.

How to apply

For further details and job applications please email or

Stefan Ast Postdoc P. +4951176217003 Apply for this job

Published on September 08, 2020

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