LISA optimal sensitivity

Thomas A. Prince, Massimo Tinto, Shane L. Larson, J. W. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


The multiple Doppler readouts available on the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) permit simultaneous formation of several interferometric observables. All these observables are independent of laser frequency fluctuations and have different couplings to gravitational waves and to the various LISA instrumental noises. Within the functional space of interferometric combinations LISA will be able to synthesize, we have identified a triplet of interferometric combinations that show optimally combined sensitivity. As an application of the method, we computed the sensitivity improvement for sinusoidal sources in the nominal, equal-arm LISA configuration. In the part of the Fourier band where the period of the wave is longer than the typical light travel-time across LISA, the sensitivity gain over a single Michelson interferometer is equal to (Formula presented) In the mid-band region, where the LISA Michelson combination has its best sensitivity, the improvement over the Michelson sensitivity is slightly better than (Formula presented) and the frequency band of best sensitivity is broadened. For frequencies greater than the reciprocal of the light travel-time, the sensitivity improvement is oscillatory and (Formula presented) but can be greater than (Formula presented) near frequencies that are integer multiples of the inverse of the one-way light travel-time in the LISA arm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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