UK Involvement in the Operation of Advanced LIGO

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Through the design and construction project 'Advanced LIGO UK,' the UK has succeeded in making fundamental contributions to the Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) detectors in the US by transfer of technology originally developed for GEO 600. As a direct result, UK groups are in a position to fully exploit the rich science data that will be produced over the coming decade. There is, therefore, a unique opportunity to ensure that UK scientists maintain leadership in gravitational wave science, by providing the support and infrastructure necessary for the UK to maintain full involvement in the operation of the aLIGO detectors and so to remain active partners in the user-community group, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), through which data rights are earned and distributed. Of equal importance is the need to ensure that UK delivered equipment and facilities for the aLIGO detectors are fully exploited to maximise the science output. This is true both in terms of their implementation within aLIGO, and later when it is planned that reconfiguration or upgrading of aLIGO will be undertaken. It is envisaged that the UK equipment which has been designed to meet all long-term project goals, will remain in place even following such upgrades, and continued UK technical support will help to ensure that is the case. The UK membership of the LSC is considerable, and we have been able to leverage data access and science return for a relatively small investment in the total hardware investment (at the few percent level). Further we are in a position to maintain involvement at the highest level for very modest additional investment, as set out in detail in this proposal.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have discovered a novel class of phase locked loop algorithms that have broad applicability to problems in engineering and science having to do with dynamic tracking of oscillations. The application of this method to the control of electric motors in particular has the potential to simplify so-called vector control of electric motors, and to allow full control of motors at lower rates of rotation than achievable with conventional controllers. Patent applications both in the U.K. and internationally on these techniques are now in the public domain. Other applications of these methods both in gravitational wave searches, in other areas of Physics, and to other engineering applications are under development.
Exploitation Route For more effective tracking of waves whose frequency, phase and amplitude are evolving dynamically. For prinicipal component analysis of complex data streams containing multiple evolving oscillating components as well as broadband coloured background noise.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Other

 
Description Patents have been applied for based on this work, both in the UK and internationally. We are currently seeking industrial collaborators based on portions of this work. We have commenced a collaboration with Creavo Medical Technologies, A UK SME developing hardware and software for heart magnetometry. Our wave tracking and characterisation software (under international patent applications) is a good candidate for improvements in the reliability of software for detecting abnormalities in the magnetic field of hearts in human patients.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Title APL 
Description APL is a class of phase locked loop developed in other research which in this grant was applied in particular to the problem of tracking parametric instabilities in gravitational wave detectors. As a result of applying APL to this problem, enhanced methods of using APL in the case where multiple oscillations at almost degenerate frequencies were developed. These methods in turn may be applied to other problems where multiple frequencies are present simultaneously in the future. In particular, these enhancements may be applicable to the problem of control of induction motors, where the currents in drive coils contain many frequency components. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact APL is being used by the Glasgow group to characterise violin modes of suspension wires for Gravitational Wave interferometers. It is also being used for various dynamic line tracking applications by researchers at the LIGO laboratories. It is one of several methods in place for the suppression of parametric instabilities at LIGO. 
 
Description BBC radio 5 'Five Live' interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was interviewed live by Nicky Campbell for 5 minutes about cosmology in general and the BICEP2 experimental results in particular. The interview was on BBC radio 5 'Five Live' at 7:40am. Five Live is a popular nationally broadcast radio show, so a large audience of the general public will have heard the interview.

General publicity for fundamental science, the University of Sheffield, its Department of Physics, and my research. Raising the awareness of the general public of research into gravitational waves.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Comments in the Daily Mail on results from the BICEP2 experiment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact My comments were published in an article in the Daily Mail on Tuesday 18th March 2014.

Members of the public have questioned me about my comments, leading me to believe that they reached a broad general audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Comments to the Guardian on results from the BICEP2 experiment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Comments I made on the consequences and import of the BICEP2 results were published in the Guardian on Tuesday 18th March - the article started on page 1, and my comments were in a whole page spread on page 8. These comments were also echoed in the Guardian Online; I have supplied a URL below for the Guardian online article from Monday 17th March.

Various members of the public in my area have approached me about these comments, which they have seen, leading me to suspect that the comments reached a broad national audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/17/primordial-gravitational-wave-discovery-physics-bicep
 
Description Comments to the Science media centre on the results from the BICEP2 experiment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I made comments on the experimental results from the BICEP2 experiment, and these comments appeared on the Science Media Centre web site. The comments were then distributed to a broad general audience through local media.

A very broad audience was reached with these comments through local newspapers - you can see some of the articles by doing a news search for articles including ed daw bicep using, for example, google news. Hundreds of local papers carried my comments because of the Science Media Centre.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-detection-of-gravitational-waves/
 
Description Press release on the BICEP2 experiment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I wrote a press release containing comments on results from the BICEP2 experiment

The comments I made on this press release were read by a broad audience
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/gravitational-waves-discovery-heralds-new-frontier-1.361507