Advanced LIGO subsystems
are the organizational units of the overall project. Follow the links below to view the mission and progress of each subsystem.

Auxiliary Optics Core Optics
Data Acquisition Data and
Input Optics

Advanced LIGO News

S6 Science Run Closes: Advanced LIGO Installation Begins

[close]At 10:00 AM CDT -- 8:00 AM PDT on October 20, 2010, the Initial LIGO era came to a close as the S6 science run reached completion. LIGO personnel immediately began changing the status of the Livingston and Hanford sites by disabling the interferometers' main lasers to prepare for the first step in Advanced LIGO installation -- the decommisioning and removal of Initial LIGO detector hardware. With the exception of several 2008 Enhanced LIGO upgrades such as new lasers, input optics and output mode cleaners, the contents of the LIGO vacuum system have been in service since 1999, generating progressively more sensitive data in the six science runs that spanned 2002 through 2010. LIGO now embarks on a challenging installation schedule to bring the advanced detectors on line. Hanford's H1 detector will remain intact for the coming year in preparation for a brief run as a squeezed-light gravitational wave interferometer. In the "squeezer" experiment, LIGO scientists will inject quantum-mechanically squeezed laser light into H1's output port to gain sensitivity against laser shot noise, one of LIGO's fundamental noise sources. Livingston's L1 detector will proceed ahead with aLIGO upgrades, as will Hanford's H2 detector. H2 will transition from 2-kilometer arms to 4-kilometer arms as its terminal vacuum chambers are relocated to the ends of the laser beam line, adjacent to the H1 terminal chambers.

A number of LIGO staff members participated in the installaton of Initial LIGO. Many reflected for a moment on the decommissioning of a set of instruments that for several years had delivered 10-19m of displacement sensitivity daily at LIGO's best frequencies. But the pause was brief. The promise of Advanced LIGO and the long list of installation tasks that lie ahead combined to fully claim LIGO's attention by the close of breakfast on October 20.

Image 1:  Fully illuminated mirrors on a locked H1 detector at 7:55 AM PDT on October 20.

Image 2:  eLIGO's final lockloss on H1 near 8:03 AM on October 20.

Image 3:  Noise spectra (below the clocks) signal the end of S6.

Image 4:  Hanford staff prepare for aLIGO installation with a hearty breakfast.

Image 5:  aLIGO Project Manager Carol Wilkinson offers encouragement for the task ahead.

Image 6:  Hanford's first daily aLIGO install meeting on October 20.





Explore Advanced LIGO    Construction Schedule
   Instrumentation and Astrophysics
   An Overview of the Upgrades
   The International Partnership
   Science Impacts
   LIGO Technology Transfers
   LIGO Scientific Collaboration
   Public Outreach
   LIGO Magazine
   aLIGO Home

[range_est] [spacer]