LIGO Document P1500260-v15

The Sensitivity of the Advanced LIGO Detectors at the Beginning of Gravitational Wave Astronomy

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01 Feb 2018, 10:55
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) consists of two 4 km laser interferometers designed to detect gravitational waves from distant astrophysical sources in the frequency range from 10 Hz to 5 kHz. The first observation run of the Advanced LIGO detectors started in September 2015 and ended in January 2016. A strain sensitivity of better than 10−23/√Hz was achieved around 100 Hz. Understanding both the fundamental and the technical noise sources was critical in increasing the observable volume in the near Universe by a factor of 40 or more compared to the previous generation of instruments. For coalescing binary black hole systems with individual masses of 30 M⊙ the average distance at which they can be seen with a signal-to-noise ratio of 8 was 1.3 Gpc. Similarly, the reach for binary neutron star inspirals was 70−80 Mpc. These sensitivities were a factor of 4.1 and 3.5 better than the previous generation of LIGO detectors, respectively.
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