Research

Research Interests



Space Science Instrumentation

I have been involved in space science instrumentation and projects for some years with personal involvement in :

Five Skylark Payloads, Ariel V, Ariel VI, HIPPARCOS, ROSAT, SOHO, CLUSTER, Spectrum RG, XMM-Newton, LEGRI, LISA Pathfinder, LISA

I have published, with three long standing colleagues, the first textbook on space instrumentation- "Principles of Space Instrument Design, CUP, ISBN-13 978-0-521-45164-2 9 hardback), ISBN-10 0-521-12594-X ( paperback)". This has been translated into Chinese.

Amongst the most important contributions made have been the first measurement of X-Ray polarisation using a gas detector and the development of the theory of aperture synthesis at X-ray wavelengths. Data from some of the missions listed above has been used to study compact X-Ray Binaries, Dwarf Novae, Active Galaxies and Interstellar Dust.

Gravitational Wave Detection : Low Frequencies

Since 1997 I have been involved in the LISA project and have managed the preparation of the flight phasemeter for LISA Pathfinder since 2004. This unit was delivered in February 2010. I have been a European Member of the LISA International Science Team since 2005.

Phasemeter

Gravitational Wave Detection : Very High Frequencies ( v > 1 MHz) via Electromagnetic-Gravitational Interactions

Note: This research has no connection whatever with work or opinions published under the title HFGW by a group in the US.

Detector

In 1983 I published a calculation of an interaction between electromagnetic waves and gravitational waves which caused a polarisation rotation. ( An interaction between gravitational and electromagnetic waves. Cruise A M Mon Not R astr Soc, 204, 485, 1983)

When I moved to Birmingham in 1995 I set up a small laboratory to investigate the interactions between gravitational waves and electromagnetic fields with a view to developing a detector for VHF gravitational waves. In 2000 a paper was published on a detector using the polarisation effect ( "An Electromagnetic Detector for Very High Frequency Gravitational Waves" A.M.Cruise Classical and Quantum Gravity, 17, 2525, 2000.) and some preliminary results were published in 2005 (" A Correlation Detector for Very High Frequency Gravitational Waves " A.M.Cruise and R.M.J.Ingley Classical and Quantum Gravity Vol 22, No 10, S479, 2005). .

Richard Ingley completed a thesis on this topic in 2006. Two identical detectors were built in order to study the efficiency of correlation detection of stochastic signals such as might be expected from cosmological backgrounds. Further preliminary results were published in 2006 ( “ A Prototype Gravitational Wave Detector for 100 MHz” Cruise A.M. and Ingley R.M.J. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 23 (2006) 6185-6193)

Following discussion with other colleagues working in the field I become convinced that better sensitivity could be achieved by using the higher electromagnetic field density available from magnetic fields, initially using Ferrite and rare earth magnets. A simple pointed detector working at GHz and optical frequencies has been constructed and is being commissioned currently at Birmingham. This will be used to observe sources in the Galactic Centre and other galaxies. Sensitivities of 10-20-10-21 per root Hz are expected at 3. 1014 Hz and 10-16-10-17 at 10 GHz.

Telescope

A design study is under way to define a 4 GHz frequency two element interferometer which might lead to a full synthetic aperture for a gravitational wave detector. This work is being carried out as part of a Jodrell Bank-Birmingham Collaboration.