The Advanced LIGO gravitational wave detectors are second generation instruments designed and built for the two LIGO observatories in Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA. The two instruments are identical in design, and are specialized versions of a Michelson interferometer with 4 km long arms. As in initial LIGO, Fabry-Perot cavities are used in the arms to increase the interaction time with a gravitational wave, and power recycling is used to increase the effective laser power. Signal recycling has been added in Advanced LIGO to improve the frequency response. In the most sensitive frequency region around 100 Hz, the design strain sensitivity is a factor of 10 better than initial LIGO. In addition, the low frequency end of the sensitivity band is moved from 40 Hz down to 10 Hz. All interferometer components have been replaced with improved technologies to achieve this sensitivity gain. Much better seismic isolation and test mass suspensions are responsible for the gains at lower frequencies. Higher laser power, larger test masses and improved mirror coatings lead to the improved sensitivity at mid-and highfrequencies. Data collecting runs with these new instruments are planned to begin in mid-2015.
Nearly a century after Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves, a global network of Earth-based gravitational wave observatories [1, 2, 3, 4] is seeking to directly detect this faint radiation using precision laser interferometry. Photon shot noise, due to the quantum nature of light, imposes a fundamental limit on the attometre-level sensitivity of the kilometre-scale Michelson interferometers deployed for this task. Here, we inject squeezed states to improve the performance of one of the detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) beyond the quantum noise limit, most notably in the frequency region down to 150 Hz, critically important for several astrophysical sources, with no deterioration of performance observed at any frequency. With the injection of squeezed states, this LIGO detector demonstrated the best broadband sensitivity to gravitational waves ever achieved, with important implications for observing the gravitational-wave Universe with unprecedented sensitivity
In 2009-2010, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) operated together with international partners Virgo and GEO600 as a network to search for gravitational waves of astrophysical origin. The sensitivity of these detectors was limited by a combination of noise sources inherent to the instrumental design and its environment, often localized in time or frequency, that couple into the gravitational-wave readout. Here we review the performance of the LIGO instruments during this epoch, the work done to characterize the detectors and their data, and the effect that transient and continuous noise artefacts have on the sensitivity of LIGO to a variety of astrophysical sources.
We present the results of searches for gravitational waves from a large selection of pulsars using data from the most recent science runs (S6, VSR2 and VSR4) of the initial generation of interferometric gravitational wave detectors LIGO (Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory) and Virgo. We do not see evidence for gravitational wave emission from any of the targeted sources but produce upper limits on the emission amplitude. We highlight the results from seven young pulsars with large spin-down luminosities. We reach within a factor of five of the canonical spin-down limit for all seven of these, whilst for the Crab and Vela pulsars we further surpass their spin-down limits. We present new or updated limits for 172 other pulsars (including both young and millisecond pulsars). Now that the detectors are undergoing major upgrades, and, for completeness, we bring together all of the most up-to-date results from all pulsars searched for during the operations of the first-generation LIGO, Virgo and GEO600 detectors. This gives a total of 195 pulsars including the most recent results described in this paper.
We present the results of a directed search for continuous gravitational waves from unknown, isolated neutron stars in the Galactic center region, performed on two years of data from LIGO's fifth science run from two LIGO detectors. The search uses a semicoherent approach, analyzing coherently 630 segments, each spanning 11.5 hours, and then incoherently combining the results of the single segments. It covers gravitational wave frequencies in a range from 78 to 496 Hz and a frequency-dependent range of first-order spindown values down to -7.86 x 10(-8) Hz/s at the highest frequency. No gravitational waves were detected. The 90% confidence upper limits on the gravitational wave amplitude of sources at the Galactic center are similar to 3.35 x 10(-25) for frequencies near 150 Hz. These upper limits are the most constraining to date for a large-parameter-space search for continuous gravitational wave signals
We describe directed searches for continuous gravitational waves (GWs) in data from the sixth Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) science data run. The targets were nine young supernova remnants not associated with pulsars; eight of the remnants are associated with non-pulsing suspected neutron stars. One targetʼs parameters are uncertain enough to warrant two searches, for a total of 10. Each search covered a broad band of frequencies and first and second frequency derivatives for a fixed sky direction. The searches coherently integrated data from the two LIGO interferometers over time spans from 5.3-25.3 days using the matched-filtering -statistic. We found no evidence of GW signals. We set 95% confidence upper limits as strong (low) as 4 × 10 −25 on intrinsic strain, 2 × 10 −7 on fiducial ellipticity, and 4 × 10 −5 on r-mode amplitude. These beat the indirect limits from energy conservation and are within the range of theoretical predictions for neutron-star ellipticities and r-mode amplitudes.
Compact binary systems with neutron stars or black holes are one of the most promising sources for ground-based gravitational-wave detectors. Gravitational radiation encodes rich information about source physics; thus parameter estimation and model selection are crucial analysis steps for any detection candidate events. Detailed models of the anticipated waveforms enable inference on several parameters, such as component masses, spins, sky location and distance, that are essential for new astrophysical studies of these sources. However, accurate measurements of these parameters and discrimination of models describing the underlying physics are complicated by artifacts in the data, uncertainties in the waveform models and in the calibration of the detectors. Here we report such measurements on a selection of simulated signals added either in hardware or software to the data collected by the two LIGO instruments and the Virgo detector during their most recent joint science run, including a "blind injection" where the signal was not initially revealed to the collaboration. We exemplify the ability to extract information about the source physics on signals that cover the neutron-star and black-hole binary parameter space over the component mass range 1 MâŠ™-25 MâŠ™ and the full range of spin parameters. The cases reported in this study provide a snapshot of the status of parameter estimation in preparation for the operation of advanced detectors. © 2013 American Physical Society
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