Construction

LIGO Project

LIGO consists of two ground-based Michelson interferometers with Fabry-Perot arm cavities, operated in unison to detect gravitational waves directly.

Location

Livingston, LA

Project Scope

EXCEL performed engineering and system implementation and commissioning activities.

Markets

Technology
LIGO Livingston

Project Description

LIGO consists of two ground-based Michelson interferometers with Fabry-Perot arm cavities, operated in unison to detect gravitational waves directly. These detectors comprise vacuum chambers and clean rooms that house individual suspended optical components with connecting beam tubes. Fused silica optics detectors are susceptible to optical scattering and absorption losses induced by particulate and hydrocarbon contamination. EXCEL performed engineering and system implementation and commissioning activities. The project objective was to reduce the low-level contaminants that can result in laser damage to optics during the operation of the interferometer and/or the unacceptable reduction of overall detector sensitivity.

The LIGO Laboratory, comprising LIGO Hanford, LIGO Livingston, Caltech, and MIT, announced that LIGO's three longest-standing and greatest champions had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics: Barry Barish and Kip Thorne of Caltech and Rainer Weiss of MIT. This Nobel Prize acknowledges 45 years of effort: from conception, through design, planning, testing, and prototyping, through decades of research and engineering, invention and innovation, advances in computing, lasers, and optics, and especially the championing and advocating of the three remarkable men.

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