Detecting gravitational waves
More about gravitational wave detectors on earth and in space
The two GRACE Follow-On satellites have been measuring the Earth’s gravitational field since mid-2018 to obtain important data for geophysics and climate research. On board is a laser interferometer that will serve as a model for future satellite missions and represents a step toward the LISA gravitational wave observatory.
During collaborative measurement campaigns, so-called observation runs, the worldwide gravitational wave detector network listens for signals from space. During the third observation run “O3”, which started on April 1st, 2019, the LIGO detectors (USA), Virgo (Italy), and GEO600 (Germany) recorded a range of promising signals.
Starting in the 2030s, third-generation gravitational-wave observatories will eavesdrop on space. They are many times more sensitive than current detectors and could thus provide a range of new insights into the invisible side of the universe.