Departmental Seminar

Automation and Characterisation of the TorPeDO Controls Prototype Interferometric Sensing System

Mr Nathan Holland

Gravitational-wave observatories are some of the most sensitive metrology experiments in the world. The detection of gravitational-waves has provided key astronomical insights, one example is the importance of binary neutron star mergers in nucleosynthesis. Design work is underway for the next generation of gravitational-wave observatories. These observatories will probe even further reaches of the universe, and a broader range of frequencies – promising insights into unresolved astrophysical questions. One significant unsolved design challenge is Newtonian noise cancellation, removing the direct gravitational coupling between local density fluctuations and the gravitational-wave observatory's readout.

 The TorPeDO (TORsion PEndulum Dual Oscillator) experiment, under development at CGA, will utilise the same technology driving gravitational-wave observatories to detect Newtonian noise. The controls prototype phase, now complete, demonstrated operation of the sensors core systems. This presentation details; the automation necessary to demonstrate robust operation of the TorPeDO controls prototype. Control and calibration of the 4 interferometric sensors is also explained. These results are then combined, along with some others, to explain the measured performance of the TorPeDO controls prototype’s interferometric super sensor. This result informs the upgrades, and investigations which will be necessary to detect Newtonian noise with the TorPeDO.

More information

Date & time

Thu 23 Nov 2023, 4.30–5.30pm



Members of RSPE welcome


2 61259094