120 research outputs found

    Review: Tilt-Free Low-Noise Seismometry

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    Inertial instruments used to measure horizontal motion are sensitive to tilt. Tilt coupling induced by gravity exerting a force along the sensing axis of the instrument as a function of its inclination must be accounted for in numerous seismological studies and seismic isolation applications. There are, in theory, many ways to separate tilt and horizontal motion components by combining the measurements of several sensors, and produce tilt‐free estimations of the horizontal motion. This article reviews these configurations and analyses limitations related to sensor noise and geometrical couplings. It concludes with a discussion on the use of suspension mechanisms as an alternative to signal subtraction methods

    On the Use of Mechanical Filters to Attenuate the Transmission of Tilt Motion to Inertial Sensors

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    Inertial sensors such as seismometers, geophones, and accelerometers cannot distinguish horizontal motion from tilt motion. Rotation measurements can be used to subtract the tilt component from horizontal measurements, but the noise in the tilt sensor is often a limiting factor. No mechanism can change the dual sensitivity of inertial sensors to tilt and translation, but the transmission of ground motion can be mechanically filtered in a frequency-dependent way. This article discusses the use of mechanical filters to reduce the transmission of tilt motion from the ground to inertial instruments, which can be applied to existing sensors, or considered for integration in the design of new horizontal sensors. The limitations of this approach are related to (1) geometrical couplings due to the separation between the reference point and the input point of the mechanical filter, (2) residual tilt transmission through the joints stiffness, (3) effects of the mechanical filtering on the signal-to-noise ratio of the horizontal motion measurement, and (4) practical difficulties with the implementation of such concepts, including thermal noise in the flexures. This study analyzes and quantifies the benefits and limitations of the mechanical filtering approach for seismic studies and for seismic isolation applications

    Enhancing the dynamic range of deformable mirrors with compression bias

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    We report the design and testing of a compression-biased thermally-actuated deformable mirror that has a dynamic range larger than the limit imposed by pure-bending stress, negligible higher-order-mode scattering, and a linear defocus response and that is vacuum compatible. The optimum design principles for this class of actuator are described and a mirror with 370 mD dynamic range is demonstrated

    Seismic isolation of Advanced LIGO: Review of strategy, instrumentation and performance

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    The new generation of gravitational waves detectors require unprecedented levels of isolation from seismic noise. This article reviews the seismic isolation strategy and instrumentation developed for the Advanced LIGO observatories. It summarizes over a decade of research on active inertial isolation and shows the performance recently achieved at the Advanced LIGO observatories. The paper emphasizes the scientific and technical challenges of this endeavor and how they have been addressed. An overview of the isolation strategy is given. It combines multiple layers of passive and active inertial isolation to provide suitable rejection of seismic noise at all frequencies. A detailed presentation of the three active platforms that have been developed is given. They are the hydraulic pre-isolator, the single-stage internal isolator and the two-stage internal isolator. The architecture, instrumentation, control scheme and isolation results are presented for each of the three systems. Results show that the seismic isolation sub-system meets Advanced LIGO's stringent requirements and robustly supports the operation of the two detectors.Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave ObservatoryNational Science Foundation (U.S.

    First all-sky search for continuous gravitational waves from unknown sources in binary systems

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    We present the first results of an all-sky search for continuous gravitational waves from unknown spinning neutron stars in binary systems using LIGO and Virgo data. Using a specially developed analysis program, the TwoSpect algorithm, the search was carried out on data from the sixth LIGO science run and the second and third Virgo science runs. The search covers a range of frequencies from 20 Hz to 520 Hz, a range of orbital periods from 2 to ∼2,254  h and a frequency- and period-dependent range of frequency modulation depths from 0.277 to 100 mHz. This corresponds to a range of projected semimajor axes of the orbit from ∼0.6 × 10[superscript −3]  ls to ∼6,500  ls assuming the orbit of the binary is circular. While no plausible candidate gravitational wave events survive the pipeline, upper limits are set on the analyzed data. The most sensitive 95% confidence upper limit obtained on gravitational wave strain is 2.3 × 10[superscript −24] at 217 Hz, assuming the source waves are circularly polarized. Although this search has been optimized for circular binary orbits, the upper limits obtained remain valid for orbital eccentricities as large as 0.9. In addition, upper limits are placed on continuous gravitational wave emission from the low-mass x-ray binary Scorpius X-1 between 20 Hz and 57.25 Hz.National Science Foundation (U.S.)United States. National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationCarnegie TrustDavid & Lucile Packard FoundationResearch CorporationAlfred P. Sloan Foundatio

    Gravitational Waves and Gamma-Rays from a Binary Neutron Star Merger: GW170817 and GRB 170817A

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    On 2017 August 17, the gravitational-wave event GW170817 was observed by the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors, and the gamma-ray burst (GRB) GRB 170817A was observed independently by the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor, and the Anti-Coincidence Shield for the Spectrometer for the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory. The probability of the near-simultaneous temporal and spatial observation of GRB 170817A and GW170817 occurring by chance is 5.0 × 10 -8 . We therefore confirm binary neutron star mergers as a progenitor of short GRBs. The association of GW170817 and GRB 170817A provides new insight into fundamental physics and the origin of short GRBs. We use the observed time delay of (+1.74±0.05)between GRB 170817A and GW170817 to: (i) constrain the difference between the speed of gravity and the speed of light to be between -3 × 10 -15 and +7 × 10 -16 times the speed of light, (ii) place new bounds on the violation of Lorentz invariance, (iii) present a new test of the equivalence principle by constraining the Shapiro delay between gravitational and electromagnetic radiation. We also use the time delay to constrain the size and bulk Lorentz factor of the region emitting the gamma-rays. GRB 170817A is the closest short GRB with a known distance, but is between 2 and 6 orders of magnitude less energetic than other bursts with measured redshift. A new generation of gamma-ray detectors, and subthreshold searches in existing detectors, will be essential to detect similar short bursts at greater distances. Finally, we predict a joint detection rate for the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor and the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors of 0.1-1.4 per year during the 2018-2019 observing run and 0.3-1.7 per year at design sensitivity