LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) utilizes twin 4-km arm Fabry-Pérot Michelson interferometers to detect distortions in spacetime due to the passing of a gravitational wave. Sources of LIGO-observed gravitational waves include the inspiral of binary black hole and binary neutron star systems. Instrument calibration is key to understanding astrophysical parameters of the sources of these gravitational waves. One calibration tool, the photon calibrator, displaces the end test masses of the interferometer using radiation pressure from a laser of known frequency, power, and angle of incidence. By measuring the detector’s response to this known signal, we can later compute information about the source of a passing gravitational wave signal. The Spectral Line Monitor (SLM) is a tool that tracks the amplitude, phase, and power spectral density of specified frequencies in the LIGO data channels. This talk will discuss SLM tool upgrades and how the SLM tool aids in LIGO calibration efforts.


Greg Mendell

Lab site

LIGO Hanford Observatory (LIGO)

Funding Acknowledgement

The 2018 STEM Teacher and Researcher Program and this project have been made possible through support from Chevron (www.chevron.com), the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (www.marinesanctuary.org), the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Program under Grant #1836335 and 1340110, the California State University Office of the Chancellor, and California Polytechnic State University in partnership with LIGO Hanford Observatory. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/486


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