Latest work

LIGO: Detection

February 11, 2016. Film maker Kai Staats, the author and director of "LIGO, A Passion for Understanding" and "LIGO, Generations" released today the trailer of LIGO, Detection, the third film in the "Advanced LIGO Trilogy". In Staats' vision, LIGO, Detection will illustrate the scientific process conducted by LIGO's scientists to extract the science from the instrument data and showcase the diversity of researchers involved in one of the most challenging experiments in modern scientic history. LIGO, Detection is produced by Over The Sun Productions. Funding from the National Science Foundation through the UM-LIGO team is being sought to produce the film.

LIGO Detection - Trailer (1:02) from Kai Staats on Vimeo.

Daniele completes work on black-hole spin-orbit resonances

February 4, 2016. Daniele’s paper “Distinguishing black-hole spin-orbit resonances by their gravitational-wave signatures” (arXiv:1505.01299 ) has been accepted for publication on Physical Review D. Daniele also continues to work on the development and maintenance of the PCAT (Principal Component Analysis for Transients) code. During the first advanced LIGO science run (O1, started on Sep 12th 2016 and ended on January 12th 2016), PCAT has been running daily on both detectors, providing information and summaries about the status of the LIGO interferometers. Daniele is also working with Jade Powell, Ik Siong Heng (U. Glasgow) and Elena Cuoco (Virgo) in order to field-test and compare PCAT and other glitch classifiers on data from LIGO’s previous engineering runs (ER7), extending previous work on simulated data (arXiv:1505.01299, published on Classical and Quantum Gravity, featured on CQG’s companion website (CQG article).

Shivaraj finishes initial calibration work of Advanced LIGO's data

January 28, 2016. With the end of run measurements taken during second week of January, the calibration group has finished the initial calibration of Advanced LIGO's data taken during its first observing run. Using radiation pressure based photon calibrator as the primary length reference, the group was able to calibrate the strain data of each detector to within 10% accuracy (the goal for Advanced LIGO). The strain data, recorded as a time series at 16 kHz rate, indicate how much the two arms of a LIGO detector are moving with respect to each other. A strong, passing gravitational wave is expected to produce strain measurable above the noise levels of the detectors. Various search groups in LIGO uses this strain data to look for gravitational wave signals. Shivaraj, a member of the LIGO's calibration group, was heavily involved in the installation and commissioning of photon calibrators at both LIGO sites. He and Joe Betzwiser (Caltech) took and analyzed all calibration measurements for LIGO Livingston detector.

PCAL Image Analysis

Kate Dooley publishes paper on alignment sensing and control for squeezed vacuum states of light

January 5, 2016. The short article presents the first-ever demonstration of actively controlling the alignment of a squeezed vacuum field, a light field that has almost no photons at all! Kate developed the sensing and control system and together with a graduate student at the U. of Hannover in Germany, Emil Schreiber (1st author on the paper), they demonstrated the technique experimentally with the squeezed light source at the GEO600 detector. This result paves the way for eventually using squeezed light in the Advanced LIGO detectors and in all other applications of squeezed vacuum. doi: 10.1364/OE.24.000146. arXiv: arXiv:1507.06468.

Hunter releases earthquake monitoring interface, Terramon

June 1, 2015. The “Terramon” monitor is currently used at the LIGO control rooms in order to help monitor and identify the effects of seismic events at the observatory sites. It is derived from another earthquake monitoring program, seismon, writen by Michael Coughlin. Terramon shows the P/S wave arrival times at each site (llo, lho, geo, virgo), amplitude (velocity induced on accelerometers), source magnitude, source time, distance, and lat/lon of earthquakes at each observatory. Terramon.