GLINT: Gravitational-wave laser INterferometry triangle

Shafa Aria, Rui Azevedo, Rick Burow, Fiachra Cahill, Lada Ducheckova, Alexa Holroyd, Victor Huarcaya, Emilia Järvelä, Martin Koßagk, Chris Moeckel*, Ana Rodriguez-Aramendia, Fabien Royer, Richard Sypniewski, Edoardo Vittori, Madeleine Yttergren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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When the universe was roughly one billion years old, supermassive black holes (103-106 solar masses) already existed. The occurrence of supermassive black holes on such short time scales are poorly understood in terms of their physical or evolutionary processes. Our current understanding is limited by the lack of observational data due the limits of electromagnetic radiation. Gravitational waves as predicted by the theory of general relativity have provided us with the means to probe deeper into the history of the universe. During the ESA Alpach Summer School of 2015, a group of science and engineering students devised GLINT (Gravitational-wave Laser INterferometry Triangle), a space mission concept capable of measuring gravitational waves emitted by black holes that have formed at the early periods after the big bang. Morespecifically at redshifts of 15 < z < 30(∼ 0.1 − 0.3× 109 years after the big bang) in the frequency range 0.01 − 1 Hz. GLINT design strain sensitivity of (Formula presented.) will theoretically allow the study of early black holes formations as well as merging events and collapses. The laser interferometry, the technology used for measuring gravitational waves, monitors the separation of test masses in free-fall, where a change of separation indicates the passage of a gravitational wave. The test masses will be shielded from disturbing forces in a constellation of three geocentric orbiting satellites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181–208
Number of pages28
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Gravitational waves
  • Laser interferometry
  • Supermassive black holes


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