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SMi MilSatCom USA 2020  Satellite Communications Technology

NASA awards Laser Interferometer Space Antenna telescopes

(16 March 2020 - NASA) NASA has awarded the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Engineering Development Unit Telescope contract to L3Harris Corporation of Rochester, New York.

This is a cost-plus, fixed-fee contract with a total value of $20,091,645. The period of performance is 36 months.

LISA is an international project led by ESA (European Space Agency) as a space-borne gravitational wave observatory. LISA is planned to consist of three spacecraft that are separated by 2.5 million kilometers in an Earth-trailing orbit. These three spacecraft relay laser beams back and forth between different spacecraft and the signals are combined to search for gravitational wave signatures that come from distortions of spacetime. The study of the universe through gravitational waves will yield a revolutionary perspective on the universe, which has been intensely studied using electromagnetic waves in many wavelength bands.

One of NASA's contributions to the LISA partnership with ESA is to develop the precision telescopes that transmit and receive the 1.06 micron coherent laser light. Under this contract award, L3Harris will design, fabricate, align, test, verify and deliver one Telescope Structural/Thermal Model and two Engineering Development Unit telescopes.

The work will be primarily performed at the Contractor’s facility in Rochester, New York.