Advanced LIGO subsystems
are the organizational units of the overall project. Follow the links below to view the mission and progress of each subsystem.

Auxiliary Optics Core Optics
Data Acquisition Data and
Input Optics

Advanced LIGO News

Hanford's 2 Kilometer H2 Detector Grows Longer

[BSC 5]Throughout the Initial LIGO era, LIGO Hanford operated a 4-kilometer interferometer (H1) and a 2-kilometer interferometer (H2). In June and July of 2011, personnel from LIGO and Apollo Sheet Metal moved H2's terminal vacuum chambers from the mid stations, two kilometers away from the vertex of the arms, to the end stations, four kilometers away. The H2 chambers now join the H1 chambers that always have occupied the end stations. Lengthening the arms of H2 will render H2 as sensitive to gravitational waves as H1 and the Livingston 4-kilometer detector, L1.

The moving team faced the challenge of extracting each 20,000 pound chamber from the beam line, transporting the chamber to the end station and re-inserting it in the beam line to the rear of its H1 counterpart. These tasks needed to occur without jarring the chamber and without contaminating either the interior of the chamber or the interior of the adjacent tube sections in the old and new locations. At the start, grout that covered the chamber's floor bolts was removed. Crews detached the chamber from its neighboring tube sections, a maneuver that required great care and a bit of speed to minimize the incursion of contaminates. Once uncoupled, the chamber was craned onto a carraige (welded from excessed Initial LIGO chamber supports), wheeled out of doors, craned onto a flatbed trailer and driven slowly to the end station. At the end station the crew repeated the entire process in reverse, ultimately re-attaching the chamber to the floor inside the vacuum equipment area where, using high precision surveying, personnel bolted the chamber into its proper location with 0.0001 inch uncertainty.

Personnel from Apollo Sheet metal in Kennewick, WA continue to play a key role in Hanford's Advanced LIGO effort by providing expert service in rigging, craning, high-precision welding, surveying and alignment, technical cleaning and other industrial activities.

Image 1:  A gantry crane and overhead crane lift the chamber out of the beam line

Image 2:  The flatbed receives the X-arm chamber on a beautiful July morning

Image 3:  Rising off of the flatbed at the end station

Image 4:  Riding the carraige into the air lock at the end station

[first lift]
[mid station]

[end station]
[moving inside]


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