LIGO-Australia Proposed

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Stan Whitcomb
Stan Whitcomb
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Topic 195746

As LIGO and the other large gravitational-wave detection projects (GEO, Virgo and LCGT) move toward the next generation of detectors, it will be important to extend the gravitational wave network. Sources of gravitational waves can be located on the sky by comparing the arrival times of the waves at different locations, essentially a variant of triangulation. For a continuous wave source of the type searched for by Einstein@Home (e.g., a pulsar) the rotation of the earth and the motion of the earth around the sun effectively samples the arrival time at many locations with a single detector. But for short bursts of gravitational waves (e.g., the inspiral signal from a pair of neutron stars or the collapse of a stellar core in a supernova), multiple detectors at widely spaced locations on the earth are required. The planned network of two LIGO detectors located in the USA, GEO in Germany, Virgo in Italy and LCGT in Japan works well over part of the sky, but to be able to give complete sky coverage, a southern Hemisphere detector is required.

In the last few months, LIGO has teamed with the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy (ACIGA) to propose to locate a next generation Advanced LIGO detector in Australia. If this project goes forward, the LIGO-Australia detector could be on-line soon after the other detectors mentioned above, and would help usher in an era of gravitational-wave astronomy.

For more details, you can find the proposal at http://www.anu.edu.au/physics/ACIGA/LIGOAust.html

Stan Whitcomb
LIGO-Australia Director

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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LIGO-Australia Proposed

Quote:

As LIGO and the other large gravitational-wave detection projects (GEO, Virgo and LCGT) move toward the next generation of detectors, it will be important to extend the gravitational wave network. Sources of gravitational waves can be located on the sky by comparing the arrival times of the waves at different locations, essentially a variant of triangulation. For a continuous wave source of the type searched for by Einstein@Home (e.g., a pulsar) the rotation of the earth and the motion of the earth around the sun effectively samples the arrival time at many locations with a single detector. But for short bursts of gravitational waves (e.g., the inspiral signal from a pair of neutron stars or the collapse of a stellar core in a supernova), multiple detectors at widely spaced locations on the earth are required. The planned network of two LIGO detectors located in the USA, GEO in Germany, Virgo in Italy and LCGT in Japan works well over part of the sky, but to be able to give complete sky coverage, a southern Hemisphere detector is required.

In the last few months, LIGO has teamed with the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy (ACIGA) to propose to locate a next generation Advanced LIGO detector in Australia. If this project goes forward, the LIGO-Australia detector could be on-line soon after the other detectors mentioned above, and would help usher in an era of gravitational-wave astronomy.

For more details, you can find the proposal at http://www.anu.edu.au/physics/ACIGA/LIGOAust.html


Wow, thank you for posting this Stan! This is great news indeed. As the LISA project has received a body-blow this will take a ground based network to greater prominence. So this would require the Australian Federal Government to come on board then, by 01/10/2011, with ( AUD @ today's value ) $140M first up then $60M over 10 years? Hmmmm six months .....

You can take advantage of experience already gained overseas, plus it will happen DownUnda and in my lifetime! What more could one want .... :-) :-) :-)

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Darn, and Canberra has just chopped up medical research to the tune of $300M earlier this week. :-(

pascal_sig.jpg

Stan Whitcomb
Stan Whitcomb
Joined: 15 Oct 04
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Thanks for the kind words,

Thanks for the kind words, Mike.

One of the factors that makes this proposal feasible is the strength of the Australian team. LIGO has been collaborating with ACIGA for more than 15 years, and the two groups have developed a good understanding of their respective strengths.

The difficulty as you point out is that this is "a big ask" in difficult financial times. However, the flow of money doesn't have to begin immediately, as long as a mutually agreeable funding profile can be worked out between all the parties. All of the scientists involved are hoping we can find a way to make it happen.

Cheers,
stan

Stan Whitcomb
LIGO-Australia Director

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
Joined: 1 Dec 05
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RE: Thanks for the kind

Quote:

Thanks for the kind words, Mike.

One of the factors that makes this proposal feasible is the strength of the Australian team. LIGO has been collaborating with ACIGA for more than 15 years, and the two groups have developed a good understanding of their respective strengths.

The difficulty as you point out is that this is "a big ask" in difficult financial times. However, the flow of money doesn't have to begin immediately, as long as a mutually agreeable funding profile can be worked out between all the parties. All of the scientists involved are hoping we can find a way to make it happen.

Cheers,
stan


Ah OK, so an agreement has to be reached by 01/10/11 on a funding timetable beyond that date, with the WA State Government currently punting to leverage the deal out of the Feds. The more complete wave polarization coverage that AIGO would provide is a strong technical reason.

.... and a good excuse for me to go west sometime and visit Gingin! :-)

Cheers, Mike.

pascal_sig.jpg

xanadu42
xanadu42
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What a wonderful

What a wonderful idea!

Such a proposal can only help advance our understanding of the Universe in which we all live...

The estimated cost of AUD$20 million per year (over ten years) is paltry when compared to the (average) AUD$12 billion spent per year by the Australian Department of Defence - as per this Sydney Morning Herald report on 09 Mar 2010

I hope you succeed in convincing our government that this is money well spent

transient
transient
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It is far from paltry if you

It is far from paltry if you are the one having to produce the money. Especially if there are other worthwhile projects too. ;)

Anyway, good luck to LIGO-Australia!

Stan Whitcomb
Stan Whitcomb
Joined: 15 Oct 04
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RE: It is far from paltry

Quote:

It is far from paltry if you are the one having to produce the money. Especially if there are other worthwhile projects too. ;)

Anyway, good luck to LIGO-Australia!

Hi transient,

I agree with you! It is not a paltry sum, and I assure you that everyone involved with LIGO-Australia understands that. If the project is approved, we intend to do our utmost to return the best possible results to the public that funds this. That means the best we can do for science, the best we can do to educate the next generation, the best we can to improve the technological capabilities of industry, and the best we can to further global cooperation in science.

Cheers,
stan

Stan Whitcomb
LIGO-Australia Director

Rapture_2
Rapture
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This is great news! The

This is great news! The central region of our galaxy should contain many more pulsars to be found. I look forward to the expansion and duration of this great project.

telegd
telegd
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Super! I wish the teams all

Super! I wish the teams all the best of luck in sourcing the funding necessary for this great project.

Yin Gang
Yin Gang
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Hi Stan, How is this

Hi Stan,

How is this proposal going? Has it been accepted or not?

Welcome To Team China!

ahj
ahj
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RE: Hi Stan, How is this

Quote:

Hi Stan,

How is this proposal going? Has it been accepted or not?

bumping for interest

edit: looks like I found my answer in wikipedia:

Quote:
After a year-long effort, the LIGO Laboratory reluctantly acknowledged that the proposed relocation of an Advanced LIGO detector to Australia was not to occur. The Australian government had committed itself to a balanced budget and this precluded any new starts in science. The deadline for a response from Australia passed on October 1, 2011.

That is a shame. A real shame.

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