LIGO Document P1700451-v1

[Thesis] Extending the scientific reach of Advanced LIGO by compensating for temporal variations in the calibration of the detectors

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Temporal variations in the responses of gravitational wave detectors affect the calibration accuracy of the instruments and therefore can limit the ability to extract parameters of astrophysical sources. We developed and implemented a method for monitoring and correcting for changes in the response functions of Advanced LIGO detectors that significantly reduces calibration uncertainties. The method relies on fiducial periodic test mass displacements induced by radiation pressure actuators at frequencies that enable independent identification of changes in both the sensing and actuation functions. Continuous monitoring of the injected displacements together with a reference-time parametrized model of the detector response function are used to compute improved estimates of the time series that represent differential arm length changes induced by external sources, the gravitational wave data channel. Implementation of this method during Advanced LIGO’s first observing period reduced systematic calibration errors by as much as a factor of six, consequently extending LIGO’s scientific reach.
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