Upgraded LIGO Detecting Candidate Gravity Waves Once a Week

LIGO and Virgo are publicly announcing candidate gravitational wave triggers with a high likelihood of astrophysical origin within minutes of the waves arriving in the three detectors (LIGO Hanford, LIGO Livingston, and Virgo).

There are two candidate gravity wave detections after then upgrade LIGO restarted operation on April 1, 2019. One of the notifications was an error.

The improved sensitivity means that detections can come from a larger volume of space. This means that there will be more regular and more frequent detections. Future improvements to sensitivity will mean black hole and neutron star mergers from more of the universe will be detected. This will mean in about ten years that detections will occur multiple times per day.

The next A+ design incorporates many of the elements identified in the first DAWN white paper to produce a design with strain sensitivity corresponding to a BNS/BBH range of ∼ 350/2240 Mpc. This would lead to an increase in range of 1.6X and 1.8X respectively for BNS and 20Msun BBH mergers, or alternatively a detection rate increase of 6.4X (BNS) and 4.4X (BBH) with respect to Advanced LIGO. They will use frequency-dependent squeezing and improved test mass coatings for the improvements over the next six years.

Researchers envisage potentially three detector epochs post Advanced LIGO baseline over the next 25 years with working titles A+, LIGO Voyager and LIGO Cosmic Explorer.

After the Advanced Plus detector will be LIGO Voyager. LIGO Voyager would have three times the detection range to a BNS range (to 1100 Mpc). This would have a low-frequency cutoff down to 10 Hz.

It took nearly 50 years of work for the first successful gravity detection. There is now the public database for new candidate gravity wave detections and public notifications of detections. Each notification comes with a skymap indicating the suspected location of the gravity wave event.

There is an apple iPhone app for people who want to get real-time gravitational wave notifications.

Both gravity events appears to be black hole merger events. They undergoing human vetting.

Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com


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