AIP Digital Archive
Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
To extend the operating frequency band of earth-based interferometric gravitational wave (GW) detectors down to 1 Hz, an unconventional system is required that provides approximately a factor of one million vibration isolation for the horizontal and more for the vertical, starting at 1 Hz. To this end, a three-stage ultra-low-noise, high-performance active and passive isolation system is being designed and constructed in order to demonstrate that a high degree of reduction can be achieved for vibrations at the support points of a GW detector's final pendulum system. The first stage of this system has been fully characterized and is the main subject of this article. It is an equilateral triangular platform, 1.1 m on a side, with a total mass of 460 kg, including the vacuum system that will contain the other two stages. Active isolation is achieved by six servocontrol loops, using signals from low-frequency displacement sensors to feed back to noncontacting force transducers. The first stage has been actively isolated from vibrations in all six degrees of freedom by at least a factor of 100 at 1 Hz and above. The system noise limitations at 2 Hz and above are roughly 2×10−11 and 5×10−11 m/Hz for vertical and horizontal translations, respectively. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.
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