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  • LIGO MIT News
    as the LVEA and then check on the seismometers installed therein to see if the excitation registered and if so by how much Otto Matherny Hanford Site Manager and Robert Schofield LIGO University of Oregon took on the challenge They chose a series of points progressively further from the LVEA At each point a standard person played by Otto jumped in sets of three Otto was in walkie talkie contact with Robert who monitored the seismometer using Dataviewer in the control room In the event that the signals were nowhere to be seen a backup squad was ready to increase the impulse to 10 person jumps but this turned out to be unnecessary That the squad was not needed and Otto was sufficient is solely to be understood as a reflection of the high sensitivity of the seismometers Otto Really At left Otto Matherny provides a calibrated vertical impulse to the earth Given the short time until our decision making Doomsday it was necessary for the experiment to be performed and analyzed within 24 hours of its conception Soil mechanics engineers were due to begin testing the site and any delays in choosing a location might cause the heavy construction to interfere with the commissioning and measurement work planned for the coming months Fortunately the team came through with beautiful results as shown in the figure below Above Data points from the seismic attenuation experiment The signal falls a little more steeply than 1 sqrt r as anticipated Note that the solid trace is not a fit of the jump data it is based only on the displacement amplitude at a single point 40 feet the Q obtained from data from passing trucks see Robert Schofield s talk Source and Propagation of Predominant 1 50 HZ Seismic Signal from Off

    Original URL path: http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LIGO_web/0104news/0104mit.html (2015-06-02)
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  • LIGO Hanford Observatory News
    A number of modifications were made to the stops and to the procedure for installing them all of which should give us a most robust system when the next quake hits Pictured Below At left the fully repaired optics within the HAM9 chamber at Hanford At right note the new sensor actuator heads surrounding the mirror in BSC4 chamber We also took advantage of this venting to correct some shortcomings in the initial design that had been uncovered in early commissioning work The most important fix was to the sensor actuator heads used to sense and damp small motions of the suspended mirrors The shadow sensors in these heads pick up the shadow of a small magnet attached to the mirror When the mirror moves the sensor detects motion of the shadow and then our electronic damping system sends small currents to coils in the sensor head that attract or repel the magnet to damp the motion Unfortunately the original shadow sensors also picked up changes in scattered light when the mirrors misaligned slightly under intense illumination This would be misinterpreted by the damping system and the mirror would be kicked out of resonance Obviously this placed an unwanted limit on the amount of laser we could use in the interferometer We continued our commissioning activities at low laser power while a new shadow sensor was designed tested and produced in sufficient quantities to retrofit the interferometer By the time of the Nisqually Earthquake we had managed to get just enough units to do the retrofit on the same vent as the earthquake repairs The new sensor actuator heads can be clearly seen each has a wire entering the cylindrical head surrounding the mirror in the photo at right above Concurrent with earthquake repairs on the two kilometer interferometer WA2K

    Original URL path: http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LIGO_web/0105news/0105han.html (2015-06-02)
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  • LIGO Livingston Observatory News
    and Strategic Initiatives Southern University Dr Excyie Ryder Chair Department of Science and Math Education Southern University Dr Brenda S Birkett Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Southern University Michael Stubblefield Director Center for Energy and Environmental Studies Southern University Amanda P Larkins Director of Media Relations Southern University Dr Kerry Davidson Deputy Commissioner for Sponsored Programs Louisiana Board of Regents The Impact of the Lederman Center on Science Education in Illinois Sue Mendelsohn Thank you for inviting me to do something I enjoy talk about the benefits of having a science education center with access to real live working scientists engineers and technicians of various kinds in our community We frequently get calls or letters from students writing papers or doing projects from teachers expanding curricula or checking accuracy from people with curiosity It s great to have this uncommon service available I ve been asked to discuss one the role of educational activities at the Lederman SciEdCtr two how well the Lederman SciEdCtr is used and three its impact on science education and teacher in service training in the surrounding region 1 Educational activities at the Lederman SciEdCtr We believe that we can have the biggest impact on improved science and math education by reaching as many teachers and educators as possible who in turn can reach their numerous students The students and the teachers are the agents of change we are the catalyst We leave the actual teaching and curriculum design in their capable hands We provide resources ideas special programs guidance and chances for collaboration and exchange of information Before the Center was built we invited a group of K 12 teachers from diverse schools in the local area to help with a needs assessment As a result of these discussions we designed our building to have four major educational areas hands on interactive science exhibits a science laboratory tables sinks gas jets computers etc a technology classroom 20 computers a projector lots of software and a Teacher Resource Center books laser disks video and audio tapes CDs now DVDs computers Our programs were also designed and developed after consultations with teachers about their specific needs and desires for improved science education Some have been revamped and updated over the years always with additional teacher suggestions and help One of the unique components provided by Fermilab was the many volunteer scientists engineers and technicians who provided professional advice and review at all stages of the project development and implementation 2 Use of the Lederman SciEdCtr The Education Office at Femilab consists of nine full time and five part time employees plus 18 to 20 on call docents The Lederman Center is a separate one story building of about 9000 square feet Five of the staff members are on site in a staff area Many but not all of our Educational Activities take place in the Center Our building s busiest seasons are fall and spring when teachers schedule class field trips to visit Fermilab At least one teacher from each participating elementary or middle school must have attended one of our teacher workshops so that the classes have been prepared for the visit We offer different kinds of field trips based on grade level and content for example Particles and Prairies Beneath the Ashes and Beauty and Charm From September through the beginning of November 2000 about 7700 school children visited Fermilab Starting in March of 2001 and ending about Memorial Day we expect to have had about 3800 additional school visitors Several hundred high school students visit in the less popular winter months Our on call docents lead all the school tours in groups of approximately 20 students per docent Not all of the tours include a visit to the Lederman Center those that do use either the exhibits or the science laboratory Some of the high school tours include a visit to an experiment or other appropriate worksite You can imagine the careful scheduling that is required All of the high school tours and the middle school physics tours meet with a scientist for a half hour Q A session We are extremely fortunate to have the support of the Director and the heads of various divisions at the lab These scientists are all volunteers taking time out from their own busy workdays Response from teachers students and parent chaperones is excellent During the summer and also on occasional Saturdays throughout the year we offer fee based Science Adventures These are taught by local teachers and our docents and are well attended by local children and families Most of the ideas for an Adventure are proposals from the instructors The teacher workshops are also offered in the summer Teachers use the Center in several ways In order to bring an elementary or middle school group teachers must attend an appropriate fee based summer workshop to learn about the required pre visit curriculum High school teachers may bring science or other interested classes without having completed a workshop The subsequent field trips are free Teachers may opt to take our workshops for graduate credit We have an arrangement with Aurora University which reviewed and approved the courses assigned credit hours and granted our staff adjunct professor status The teachers pay AU 50 per credit hour not included in our course fee Educators of all sorts visit our Teacher Resource Center year round as do college and university education students to plan curriculum additions and changes review texts find new material develop programs etc As a clearinghouse and central point for math science and technology education we serve three main groups the educational research community universities colleges education laboratories scientists and educational practitioners teachers librarians administrators We are an official demonstration sight for the Eisenhower National Clearing House and a partner in several local state and regional organizations Our TRC director does a great deal of in service teacher training both by bringing groups to our Center and by traveling to districts within an eight state region The

    Original URL path: http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LIGO_web/0105news/0105liv.html (2015-06-02)
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  • LIGO Caltech News
    full blast of the 10 W laser for a day without the laser beam breaking through About a fortnight ago the reference cavity and vacuum chamber was assembled by Lee in the laser safety enclosure The reference cavity is identical to the ones deployed at the observatories but the vacuum chamber is shorter as is the vibration isolation stack Driven over in the CDS Goggomobil by part time gladiator Ben Abbott the laser was thus delivered to the 40m Lab After placing the laser on the table the various cables were pulled and dressed in the cable trays The water chiller was installed and the laser power supply firmly bolted to the PSL rack We performed the laser safety walk through to check that no one was hiding down the arms of the interferometer Gathered round the laser power supply were Alan Dennis Ugolini Lee Steve Vass and your narrator The big moment was nigh Safety glasses were donned and I called upon Alan to throw the switch This was it Alan turned the key Nothing The power supply displayed LWE MOPA SYS The power supply then checked for the presence of the water chiller and displayed CHK CHLLR and after an agonizing wait displayed CHLLR FLT Okay no problem as we probably forgot to set the RS232 button on the chiller After checking that Alan was again asked to do the honors Here we go Again nothing The same message displayed After swapping the two RS232 cables around Alan turned the key toggled the switches and this time a little piece of history was made On May 23rd 2001 a little after 6pm 1064 nm light was turned on in the 40m Lab In the following few days the MEDM operator screens and EPICS slow loop sequencer were copied

    Original URL path: http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LIGO_web/0105news/0105cit.html (2015-06-02)
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  • LIGO MIT News
    installed as a cartridge the suspensions will be mounted on the isolation system outside of the vacuum system to ease access and then lifted together into the Test Mass vacuum chamber The photo below shows this cleanroom It also shows the low ceiling height which is a nuisance and the nifty two lift bridge crane which is a boon used to lift the cover off the chamber and to tuck it up into the rafters for maximum clearance of the future contents of the chamber Once the platform was installed we opened our Test Mass vacuum chamber and our local crowd plus Special Hanford Guest Stars Hugh Radkins and Corey Gray worked diligently to get the Blue Piers placed and to bring in the horizontal support tubes and bellows The tight working quarters compared with the LIGO sites leads to a need for some imaginative contortions but all s well that ends well and all the pieces are in place The photo above shows the cover floating from the crane with the protective cover on for cleanliness it is on its way back on after having relaxed on the floor for a week There is a little excitement in using

    Original URL path: http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LIGO_web/0105news/0105mit.html (2015-06-02)
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  • LIGO Hanford Observatory News
    its chamber The camera angle shows the view from inside the vacuum chamber looking towards equipment on the outside This installation follows on the successful earthquake repairs of the Washington 2 km WA2K interferometer damaged in the February 28 2001 Nisqually Earthquake as well as remedial work on suspensions sensors and actuators in the LA4K interferometer in Livingston The installation of the WA4K optics in the corner station had been done concurrently with earthquake repairs on the WA2K system and the WA2K ETMx had been installed previously Although this was the last planned installation activity for LIGO I it would be a mistake to surmise that this equipment is more of the same old stuff Since we have run commissioning of components in parallel with completion of further installations the components have been steadily improved as we learned from studying the performance of previously installed hardware The WA4K uses the latest design of shadow sensors perfected after it was discovered that the earlier design suffered from susceptibility to scattered light The WA4K interferometer is also the first LIGO interferometer to use a newly developed digital suspension controller The new controllers feature digital tuning throughout the modules replacing component level analog filters This allows software tuning of the controller s features rather than a cut and solder approach to reshaping the electrical characteristics of the controller We did not quite have the installation finished by the end of June There were still some tasks associated with alignment of the mirror and an extensive list of checkout procedures remained before we could put the doors on the end chamber and begin pumpdown The photo at right shows scientist Rick Savage using a glove encapsulated radio to guide team members in threading an alignment beam through the vacuum chambers These remaining tasks were

    Original URL path: http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LIGO_web/0106news/0106han.html (2015-06-02)
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  • LIGO Livingston Observatory News
    an encouraging start but we still have plenty to do before finishing the installation to our full satisfaction The Louisiana Tech and SURF students who worked with me on this project showed great interest in the installation and preliminary commissioning of the vault And I was quite happy to receive any help I could get so I decided to involve the students closely in the installation process see the photo gallery below The students built the test arrangement for the networking setup using the ethernet to multimode fiber converters They tested every element of the chain in the lab They took part in the networking installation They helped to disassemble and reassemble the seismic equipment and also assisted in bringing up the system It was an excellent exchange LIGO benefited with a speedy installation of its equipment and the students got a taste of several new fields learning a great deal along the way Acknowledgments We would like to take this opportunity to thank Rusyl Wooley Fred Asiri and Gerry Stapfer for their effort persistence and supervision of the contractors which made possible the finish of the civil engineering and basic electrical infrastructure also Shourov Chatterji for his nice drawings and magnetometer system and finally the students for their enthusiastic help Below Picture gallery of preliminary installation with the students Top row At left Clay Westbrook of Louisiana Tech is ready to dive into the vault Right Hareem Tariq of Florida Tech Misty Watson of Xavier University and Keisha Williams of Southern University follow the boot process of the Quanterra datalogger Above Bottom row Left Misty and Loniqe Coots of University of Texas enjoying the outdoor work Center I am getting well done inside the oven Right the students enjoy the breeze outside Installation Continues Again at Livingston Contributed by Joe Kovalik The Livingston four kilometer interferometer has been undergoing a period of retrofitting since the middle of May After running the interferometer and shaking down sub systems for about six months the list of fixes and upgrades became long enough to warrant venting the vertex and end station vacuum systems Because any venting of the vacuum system allows water vapor to be absorbed on the inner surfaces of the chamber and within some hygroscopic components it is best to limit the number of venting periods required a bit like waiting to take your car in for repair until you have several items you want the mechanic to examine Of course the water vapor is again removed once the system is pumped down but this takes time And it can be a long time several weeks or longer if the water vapor has built up extensively During the vent period the beam tube modules remain under vacuum isolated from the vacuum spaces where the test masses are located by gate valves at either end of both 4 km long arms At right above A view of the Laser and Vacuum Equipment Area LVEA while undergoing installation The large vacuum chamber

    Original URL path: http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LIGO_web/0106news/0106liv.html (2015-06-02)
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  • LIGO Caltech News
    DMT is meant to do and the kinds of monitors etc that still need to be written The last day of the gathering was set aside for attendees to spend some more time implementing an idea of their own whether a LAL package a parallel search algorithm or a DMT monitor Like any good camp LDAS Camp ended with a cookout hosted by John Zweizig and his wife Anne before everyone packed up and headed home taking along a greater understanding of LIGO data analysis software LIGO Honorees Look Back On Their Stellar Journeys Contributed by Linda Turner How often have we found ourselves wondering where time has gone reflecting on the journey that has brought us to where we are today I m sure four of our LIGO colleagues were pondering this when they were recently recognized by Caltech for their long time service to the Institute and the JPL community Honored for 30 years of service were Dorothy Lloyd and Larry Jones Irene Baldon for 20 years and for 15 years Stan Whitcomb In addition to the official ceremony held in early June LIGO hosted an afternoon reception for the honorees giving us all an opportunity to congratulate our LIGO friends on reaching these service milestones in their careers Looking over their tenure at Caltech the award winners reminisced on the journey that brought them finally to LIGO Perhaps you ll learn something new about these special LIGO members Born and raised an Indiana Hoosier Larry Jones graduated from Purdue and took his first job in 1963 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL as a mechanical engineer for the Advanced Liquid Propulsion System Project For the next several years Larry was involved in the spacecraft program first with the Surveyor and then the Mariner spacecraft Working as a mechanical engineer with the Surveyor team he monitored the contractors propulsion system development at Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo and Thiokol s Reaction Motors Division in New Jersey and monitored pre flight operations at Cape Kennedy He performed data analysis while working with the Mariner team Following this Larry left JPL and worked eight years in private industry returning to JPL in 1979 as a test engineer at JPL s Edwards Test Station Recalling his career prior to joining LIGO Larry s favorite job at JPL was the SAWE Project Simulation of Area Weapons Effects for the Army s program of improving the realism of field combat training His task was to conduct the field tests of the ballistics of air launches simulating artillery and mortar fire and the performance of explosive projectile systems this included the fun job of designing an air cannon to launch the plastic projectiles In 1988 Larry transferred to the Caltech campus and joined the LIGO Project where he served as technical manager of the task for the design fabrication and installation of LIGO s 16 kilometers of beam tube With successful completion of the beam tube at both the Hanford and Livingston Observatories Larry

    Original URL path: http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LIGO_web/0106news/0106cit.html (2015-06-02)
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