LIGO Document P1600285-v21
- Hardware injections are simulated gravitational-wave signals added to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory's (LIGO) data. The detectors' test masses are physically displaced by an actuator in order to simulate a gravitational wave. The simulated signal initiates a control-system response designed to mimic that of a true gravitational wave. Propagating a signal through the detector to the analyses provides an end-to-end test of LIGO's ability to observe gravitational waves. The gravitational-wave analyses used to detect and characterize signals are tested with hardware injections. By looking for discrepancies between the recovered and injected signals, we are able to characterize the performance of analyses and the coupling of subsystems to the detectors' output channel. Here we describe the LIGO hardware injection system and show the recovery of injected signals from binary black hole mergers, a stochastic gravitational-wave background, isolated pulsars, and detector characterization studies.
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