Session: Isolation, Suspension, Vacuum and Other Technologies (February 23, 2010)  

Title: The Virgo gravitational wave detector and its seismic isolation system

  Speaker: Stefano Braccini    

Virgo is performing its second scientific run, in coincidence with two gravitational-wave interferometric detectors of the US LIGO project. The interferometer is able to operate very close to its design sensitivity with a high duty-cycle (larger than 80%). Virgo is the only ground-based gravitational wave antenna that, from its conception, aimed at reducing the detection band lower threshold down to 10 Hz. This goal has been achieved by isolating the antenna from seismic noise which, in the tens of Hz range, is many orders of magnitude larger than the small variation of the interferometer arm length induced by the gravitational wave passage. In particular, each mirror of the antenna is suspended from a chain of mechanical filters (Superattenuator), designed to suppress the transmission of ground seismic vibrations. The status of Virgo and the performance of the Superattenuator are discussed in this seminar.

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