7.2 Other missions

LISA is the most advanced space-based project, but there exist concepts for at least two more detectors. DECIGO (DECi-hertz Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) [274, 199] is a Japanese project designed to fill the gap in frequency between ground-based detectors and LISA, i.e. the 0.1 – 10 Hz band. It would have a similar configuration to LISA with three drag-free spacecraft, but have far shorter arm lengths at 1000 km. Although still early in its design there are plans for two precursor technology demonstration missions (DECIGO Pathfinder [80] and Pre-DECIGO), with a the main mission having a launch date in the mid-2020s.

A similar mission, in terms of the frequency band it seeks to cover, is the US Big Bang Observer (BBO) (see [122, 124Jump To The Next Citation Point, 167] for overviews of the proposal). One of its main aims will be to detect the stochastic background from the early universe, but it can also be used for high precision cosmology [124]. The current configuration would consist of three LISA-like constellations of three spacecraft each, with 50 000 km arm lengths, and separated in their orbit by 120°. The launch of this mission would be after DECIGO, but is designed to be 2 – 3 times as sensitive.

At lower frequencies than LISA, ∼ 0.1 µHz – 1 mHz, there are Chinese proposals for Super-ASTROD (Super Astrodynamical Space Test of Relativity using Optical Devices) [242].


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