Study for NASA participation in the ESA-led L3 Gravitational Wave Mission (2016-2018)

  • L3ST Interim Report - 20 June 2016 [PDF]

NASA intends to partner with ESA on the third Large-Class mission (L3) in ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Programme, planned for launch in 2034. ESA has selected a gravitational wave observatory as the science theme. To this end, NASA has formed an L3 Study Team (L3ST) composed of selected members of the community. A Dear Colleague Letter was issued on December 7, 2015, soliciting nominations and self-nominations for the L3ST, with due date December 21, 2015. Submitted applications were reviewed by members of the NASA HQ Astrophysics Division and of the PCOS Program office, who then made selection recommendations.

The purpose of the "L3 Study" is to understand how NASA might participate in ESA's L3 Gravitational Wave mission, to inform our engagement through its earliest stages and to prepare for the 2020 decadal survey. The following individuals have been appointed to serve on the L3ST:

Members of the L3ST
Name Affiliation
Baker, John NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Bender, Peter University of Colorado at Boulder
Berti, Emanuele University of Mississippi
Conklin, John University of Florida
Cornish, Neil Montana State University
Cutler, Curt Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Holley-Bockelman, Kelly Vanderbilt University
Larson, Shane Northwestern University
McWilliams, Sean West Virginia University
Miller, Cole University of Maryland
Robertson, Norna California Institute of Technology
Shoemaker, David (Chair) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Vallisneri, Michele Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Note: Ex-Officio NASA members of the L3ST: R. Sambruna, A. Hornschemeier, and I. Thorpe. In addition, A. Parmar has been appointed by ESA as an observer on the L3ST.

The L3ST is assisted by a Technology Analysis Group (TAG) who provide expert knowledge of the technology associated with NASA's possible hardware contributions to ESA.

Members of the Technology Analysis Group (TAG)
Name Affiliation
Camp, Jordan NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Klipstein, William Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Livas, Jeffrey NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
McKenzie, Kirk Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Mueller, Guido University of Florida
Ziemer, John Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Face-to-Face Meetings

  • First Meetings: Tuesday, April 19, and Wednesday, April 20, after the American Physical Society Meeting, at the Marriott, Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Group photograph from APS Meeting 2016
      • High resolution (300 dpi) image [JPG]
      • Low resolution (screen, 72 dpi) image [JPG]

  • Second Meeting: September 4-9, 2016, at LISA Symposium in Zurich, Switzerland
    • Photo taken at coffee break discussion of L3ST on September 9
      • High resolution (300 dpi) image [JPG]
      • Low resolution (screen, 72 dpi) image [JPG]

  • Third Meeting: January 31 and February 1, 2017, after the American Physical Society meeting in Washington, DC
    • Open L3 Study Team Meeting
    • Group photograph from APS Meeting 2017
        • High resolution (300 dpi) image [JPG, 1.27MB]
        • Low resolution (screen, 72 dpi) image [JPG, 131KB]

Gravitational Wave Community Telecon

The GW community holds a regular weekly telecon on Mondays at 11:00 A.M. Eastern. Other telecons are scheduled as needed. For telecon connection information, please contact both PCOS Chief Scientist Ann Hornschemeier (Ann.Hornschemeier AT and Deputy PCOS Chief Scientist Terri Brandt (T.J.Brandt AT

Techology Presentations

  • Ira Thorpe Presentation [PDF]
  • John Ziemer presentation [PDF]
  • Jeffrey Livas presentation [PDF]
  • William Klipstein presentation [PDF]
  • Jordan Camp presentation [PDF]

Reference Documents

  • April 16, 2016: Final GOAT Report
  • January 20, 2016: Selection Decision Document for L3 Study Team Membership [PDF]
  • December 7, 2015: Dear Colleague Letter soliciting nominations to the Study Team [PDF]
  • November 27, 2015: Final version of the L3 Study charter [PDF]
  • November 23, 2015: L3 Study FAQ [PDF]
  • November 17, 2015: Draft version of the L3 Study charter [PDF]
  • June 15, 2015: Interim Report of the ESA GOAT [PDF]
  • November 21, 2013: Gravitational Wave Technology Roadmap [PDF]
  • August 9, 2012: Gravitational-Wave Mission Concept Study Final Report [PDF]

Reference Links

Program News

15 May 2017
PCOS Program Office Call for Technology Gap submissions, due 1 June 2017 »  Details
20 Mar 2017
Astrophysics Probe mission studies selected (3/20/2017) »  [PDF]
6 Mar 2017
Terms of Reference (ToR) for the PhysPAG have been updated. »  [PDF]

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