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Published April 2015 | public
Journal Article Open

Advanced LIGO two-stage twelve-axis vibration isolation and positioning platform. Part 1: Design and production overview


New generations of gravity wave detectors require unprecedented levels of vibration isolation. This paper presents the final design of the vibration isolation and positioning platform used in Advanced LIGO to support the interferometer's core optics. This five-ton two-and-half-m wide system operating in ultra-high vacuum. It features two stages of isolation mounted in series. The stages are imbricated to reduce the overall height. Each stage provides isolation in all directions of translation and rotation. The system is instrumented with a unique combination of low noise relative and inertial sensors. The active control provides isolation from 0.1 Hz to 30 Hz. It brings the platform motion down to 10^(−11) m/√Hz at 1 Hz. Active and passive isolation combine to bring the platform motion below 10^(−12) m/√Hz at 10 Hz. The passive isolation lowers the motion below 10^(−13) m/√Hz at 100 Hz. The paper describes how the platform has been engineered not only to meet the isolation requirements, but also to permit the construction, testing, and commissioning process of the fifteen units needed for Advanced LIGO observatories.

Additional Information

© 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc. Available online 13 October 2014. The authors acknowledge and gratefully thank the National Society Foundation for their support. LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation and operates under cooperative agreement PHY-0107417. We thank the JILA group for pioneering the work on active isolation systems using low frequency inertial sensors, and for demonstrating the feasibility of such multi-stage systems. We thank our colleagues from the suspension groups in GEO and LIGO for introducing us to the benefits of using triangular maraging steel blades to provide vertical isolation. We thank High Precision Devices for the mechanical design's realization of the rapid prototype and the technical demonstrator. We thank Alliance Space Systems Incorporation for the mechanical design's realization of the two-stage prototype. We thank Nanometrics, Streckeisen, Geotech, Sercel and Microsense for supplying us with great instruments, and for their technical support. Finally yet importantly, this work would not have been possible without the outstanding support of the LIGO laboratory management, computer and data systems, procurement, facility modification and preparation, assembly and installation teams. This document has been assigned LIGO Laboratory document number LIGO-P1200010.

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023