Test mass charging from cosmic rays

Test mass charging from cosmic ray and solar charged particles

The isolated LISA test mass accumulates electrostatic charge from cosmic ray and solar particle events. This combines with stray and applied electrostatic fields to produce noisy forces on the TM. Understanding and predicting the TM charging and charge noise, in both stationary interplanetary conditions and in “stormy space weather” is important for predicting LISA test mass acceleration noise, developing in-orbit identification and mitigation strategies, and designing UV discharge systems for LISA and future missions with free-falling test masses. In collaboration with colleagues at the Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo and at OHB-Italia and under a contract with ESA, we are simulating the LISA test mass charging, providing a software package for the use of the scientific community.

Staff contact for information: Francesco Dimiccoli, Valerio Ferroni