Departmental Seminar

Simulation and Isolation Design for the TorPeDO Gravitational Sensor

Mr Perry Forsyth
ANU Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics

With the first detection of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors on 14 September 2015, a new era of astronomy, and physics began. A product of engineering, as much as it was of theory, the detection of gravitational waves was enabled by decades of innovation in electrical, mechanical, optical and control systems. With the milestone of first detection having been reached, there is ongoing interest to push these systems further; to dig deeper into the gravitational wave phenomena and to apply the lessons learnt to other applications.

The TorPeDO (Torsion Pendulum Dual Oscillator) sensor is a dual torsion pendulum gravitational sensor under development by The Australian National University (ANU), Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics. The transducer of the sensor uses measurements of differential rotation between two low resonant frequency (~26 mHz) torsion pendulums to infer transients in the curl of the gravitational potential field. The design sensitivity for the TorPeDO is set at 10^[-15] rad/Sqrt[Hz] at 0.1 Hz differentially rotation between the two pendulums, with an observation frequency band between 30 mHz and 10 Hz.

If this design sensitivity is achieved the proposed applications of this sensor are wide ranging; from allowing the detection and mitigation of Newtonian noise in terrestrial gravitational wave observatories, to earthquake early warning by detecting earthquakes through their transient gravitational signature. To reach the design sensitivity, several design challenges must be overcome through further development of the TorPeDO sensor and supporting isolation systems. This presentation will focus on these design challenges, their consequences, and their potential solutions. 

Zoom meeting details :

Meeting ID: 882 9736 2470

Password: 768725

Date & time

Wed 3 Mar 2021, 11am–12pm




Members of RSPE welcome