From LISAPathfinder to eLISA : instrumental modelling and analysis

The eLISA(NGO) mission, the main candidate for the large mission L3 at ESA (theme “The Gravitational Universe”), is a space based interferometer that will observe gravitational waves sources, opening a new window on the Universe. eLISA is in detailed definition phase for a selection in 2017-18. It is therefore essential to evaluate now the scientific potential in order to adapt the instrument for maximizing the scienitific return. The technological demonstrator LISAPathfinder (launch 2/12/2015) will enable the study and the validation of a large part of  the technologies required for eLISA. France, with the active support of CNES, is responsible for the data processing centre and for integration of the eLISA instrument with strong involvement of APC. APC is also highly involved in LISAPathfinder.

The study of LISAPathfinder and the simulation are essential tools to master the complexity of eLISA and evaluate its potential. The sotfware LISACode, developed at APC with the support of CNES, is now the simulator of the eLISA consortium and must evolve to incorporate the latest technological configurations and the results of LISAPathfinder. This tool is developed within the prototype of the eLISA data processing centre. The development of the instrument are also closely linked to the data analysis that extracts the signal and noise levels and evaluates the eLISA performances.

In this thesis, we propose to study the following points using simulations and data analysis :

   -  the exploitation of LISAPathfinder and the tranfer of results to eLISA,

  - the detailed study of the proposed technology and their implementation in LISACode,

  - the application of existing data analysis methods to assess the potential of eLSIA in realistic configurations,

  - the development of robust data analysis methods for the analysis of noises and signals,

  - the study of methods for calibration and for performances verifications.

The expected results are an advanced simulator of the instrument including the results of LISAPathfinder, studies of scientific potential of eLISA in realistic configurations, methods for calibration and possibly new data analysis methods.

This work is direclty part of the French contribution to eLISA and will be done in collaboration with our partners in the eLISA consortium. 

Contact : Antoine Petiteau (


Antoine Petiteau et Pierre Binétruy






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