LIGO Document P1900244-v12

Initial Results from the LIGO Newtonian Calibrator

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The precise calibration of the strain readout of the LIGO gravitational wave observatories is paramount to the accurate interpretation of gravitational wave events. This calibration is traditionally done by imparting a known force on one of the test masses of the interferometer via radiation pressure. Here we describe the implementation of an alternative calibration scheme: the Newtonian Calibrator. This system uses a rotor consisting of both quadrupole and hexapole mass distributions to apply a time-varying gravitational force on the test mass. The force produced by this rotor can be predicted to \( 1\% \) relative uncertainty and is well resolved in the readout of the interferometer. This system currently acts as a cross-check of the existing absolute calibration system.

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Published 27 October 2021
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