The Sensitivity of the Advanced LIGO Detectors at the Beginning of Gravitational Wave Astronomy [IMA]

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) consists of two widely separated 4 km laser interferometers designed to detect gravitational waves from distant astrophysical sources in the frequency range from 10 Hz to 10 kHz. The first observation run of the Advanced LIGO detectors started in September 2015 and ended in January 2016. A strain sensitivity of better than $10^{-23}/\sqrt{\text{Hz}}$ was achieved around 100 Hz. Understanding both the fundamental and the technical noise sources was critical for increasing the observable volume in the universe. The average distance at which coalescing binary black hole systems with individual masses of 30 $M_\odot$ could be detected was 1.3 Gpc. Similarly, the range for binary neutron star inspirals was about 75 Mpc. With respect to the initial detectors, the observable volume of Universe increased respectively by a factor 69 and 43. These improvements allowed Advanced LIGO to detect the gravitational wave signal from the binary black hole coalescence, known as GW150914.

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Scientific. Collaboration-LIGO, D. Martynov, E. Hall, et. al.
Tue, 5 Apr 16

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