Departmental Seminar

Low Frequency Control and Automation for Suspended, Interferometric Gravitational Sensors

Mr Nathan Holland
ANU Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics (CGA)

Proposed future gravitational wave detectors will extend the detection of gravitational waves to lower frequencies. This will yield information about higher mass events, and provide earlier warning for multi-messenger follow up. One challenge in reaching these lower frequencies is overcoming direct gravitational coupling of environmental noise sources, called Newtonian noise. TorPeDO, a low frequency gravitational gradiometer, is a sensor under development, at the ANU, to measure and cancel Newtonian noise in these future detectors. To achieve low frequency sensitivity soft suspensions are used. I will detail some of the challenges we have overcome while operating low frequency suspensions.

Concurrently existing gravitational wave detectors, such as LIGO, continue to improve in sensitivity and duty cycle, yielding increased detection rates. I will present an improvement we have developed for the damping scheme of the main suspensions at LIGO. I will also discuss my controls automation work for LIGO, upgrading the initial alignment procedure at the Livingston detector.

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