UK involvement in the Advanced LIGO Gravitational Wave Project

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

It is essential to enhance tje sensitivities of the initial long baseline gravitational wave detectors (LIGO, GEO 600, TAMA 300, and VIRGO) to enter the 'observatory phase of gravitational wave astronomy. A factor of ten in detection range (athousand) in detection volume) over the initial detectors would bring a great variety and number of sources within reach. The most efficient way to gain this sensitivity is to transfer the technology developed for GEO 600 - monolithic suspensions for the test masses and enhanced interferometric techniques - to the three LIGO detectors at the sites in Washington State and Louisiana to create 'advanced LIGO'. This transfer is currently underway and the UK gravitational wave groups at Glasgow, Cardiff and Birmingham have very strong collaborative relationships with the LIGO project. This application is for funding to supply Avanced LIGO with equipment as outlined in the objectives in return for management rights in the strategic planning of the observations and full access to the resulting data.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Fulda P (2012) Review of the Laguerre-Gauss mode technology research program at Birmingham in Journal of Physics: Conference Series

publication icon
Hendry M (2014) Education and public outreach on gravitational-wave astronomy in General Relativity and Gravitation

publication icon
LIGO Scientific Collaboration And The Virgo Collaboration (2017) A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant. in Nature

publication icon
Littenberg T (2013) Fortifying the characterization of binary mergers in LIGO data in Physical Review D

publication icon
Lodhia D (2012) Phase effects in Gaussian beams on diffraction gratings in Journal of Physics: Conference Series

publication icon
Smith G (2015) LoCuSS: Testing hydrostatic equilibrium in galaxy clusters in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

 
Description We have developed sensors and control electronics for ultra-sophisticaed devices (laser interferometers) that measure relative displacements of mirrors to better than the size of an atom's nucleus in the band 10-1000 Hz.

This work has provided hardware for advanced LIGO that has achieved the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole
Exploitation Route this is now the standard for gravitational-wave laser interferometers in the world and the one that has detected gravitational waves
Sectors Electronics,Other

URL https://www.advancedligo.mit.edu
 
Description We have developed and then built and delivered actuator and control electronics for the Advanced LIGO gravitational-wave laser interferometers in the US. Advanced LIGO has detected gravitational waves and the first binary black hole also as part of this project
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Education,Other
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description ASPERA
Amount £42,468 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Novel Technologies for Cross-disciplinary Research programme
Amount £2,515,589 (GBP)
Funding ID GG-TOP: Gravity Gradient 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2011 
End 02/2015
 
Title GW sources 
Description data set of the detected gravitational wave sources 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact it's the first and only catalogue of astronomical objects known in gravitational waves 
URL https://losc.ligo.org/about/
 
Title finesse 
Description Frequency domain INterfErometer Simulation SoftwarE 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2007 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact it has allowed design and debug laser interferometers with a simple but powerful tool. It has allowed to simulate many different user-defined optical setups. It has been used for Advanced LIGO 
URL http://www.gwoptics.org/finesse/
 
Title lalinference 
Description data analysis technique to study the properties of gravitational-wave sources 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2010 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact it has enabled the characterisation of the physical properties of GW sources 
URL https://www.lsc-group.phys.uwm.edu/daswg/projects/lalsuite.html
 
Description GEO Collaboration 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Impact Many papers, technology developments, and outreach events
 
Description GEO Collaboration 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Department Physics and Astronomy Department
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Impact Many papers, technology developments, and outreach events
 
Title finesse 
Description Finesse is a software package that allows to design and test par-axial laser optics setups, with a specific focus on precision length measurements. The package is well documented and open source. Development has started in 1997 and software has been used and improved within the international science collaborations ever since. It is still under active development with new features being implemented upon request from the community. Optics, active and adaptive optics, mirrors, aspherics, interferometers, photonics 
Type Of Technology Software 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Finesse is a international standard package in the field of gravitational wave science. It is also used in other fields of science. I have been in informal collaborations with companies and defense contractors in the US who have used the software. 
URL http://www.gwoptics.org/finesse/
 
Title interferometric sensors 
Description compact interferometric sensors Instrumentation technologies (inc. vibration, miniaturisation, ruggedness) 
Type Of Technology Systems, Materials & Instrumental Engineering 
Year Produced 2008 
Impact compact interferometer for precision measurements 
 
Title lalinference 
Description statistical inference package 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2013 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact this is the standard for inference on gravitational-wave data particularly for coalescing binaries 
URL https://www.lsc-group.phys.uwm.edu/daswg/projects/lal/nightly/docs/html/group__ch__inference.html
 
Title sensors 
Description opto mechanical sensor for GW interferometer mass Instrumentation technologies (inc. vibration, miniaturisation, ruggedness) 
Type Of Technology Systems, Materials & Instrumental Engineering 
Year Produced 2006 
Impact essential for GW laser interferometers 
 
Description BICEP2 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact sparked questions and discussion afterwards

people asked to visit research group and talk to scientists
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description BBC Stargazing live 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact many people visited stand

TV and radio coverage
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description BSF 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact press conference and pupil workshop

press coverage in BBC, Irish time
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Big Bang Fair 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact hundreds of pupils attended

-
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description British Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact people visited exhibition

press conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Institute of Physics public lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact sparked questions and discussion and increased interest in related subject areas
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact spark questions and discussion afterwards

received requests for more sessions like this and to visit research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Public talk for Walsall Astronomical Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact about 50 people attended the talk which sparked discussion and other talks were requested
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Public talk for the Association for Science Education annual conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact lively discussion
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description astrostatistics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact sparked questions and discussion afterwards

received requests for more discussions in this area
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description public talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact between 10 and 100 people attended events

received requests from other organisations to give talks
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011
 
Description visit of Andrew Cohen, head of BBC science 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact discussed research with Andrew Cohen, head of BBC science

-
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description visit of David Willets 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact showed lab and activities

-
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012