Partner Experiments and Collaborations
The GEO600 Experiment / Collaboration
The German/British collaboration for the detection of gravitational waves (GEO) has built a detector of arm length 600m (GEO600) near Hannover in Germany, with the purpose of joining in a worldwide search for gravitational radiation from astrophysical sources and of developing advanced interferometric and suspension technologies for later gravitational wave detectors. An MOU (memorandum of understanding) between the GEO and LIGO science collaborations establishes joint analysis of data from GEO600 and the LIGO interferometers by the members of both collaborations, and thus all members of GEO600 are also members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.
The Virgo Collaboration / European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) consortium
The VIRGO collaboration is composed of approximately 200 scientists and technicians coming mainly from the CNRS and INFN laboratories and from EGO. The VIRGO collaboration is responsible for overall scientific exploitation of the VIRGO gravitational wave antenna. The European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) consortium has responsibility for construction, commissioning and operation of the VIRGO gravitational wave antenna, and for current and future upgrades of the VIRGO antenna.
KAGRA - The Kamioka Gravitational Wave Telescope
The KAGRA project aims to construct and operate a single 3km baseline cryogenic interferometer underground in Japan at the Kamioka mine. The aim is to minimize gravitational gradient and thermal noise through underground location combined with cryogenic suspended optics in a kilometer baseline instrument, for the first time. The project is a development of the TAMA300 experiment.
LISA - The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna
LISA is a proposed joint NASA/ESA mission to deploy a constellation of three satellites at the vertices of an equilateral triangle five million kilometers on a side in heliocentric orbits twenty degrees behind that of the Earth. The long baseline allows detection of gravitational waves in the frequency band of approximately 10 microhertz to 100 millihertz. Location in space has the twin advantages of allowing longer baselines and avoiding seismic noise that on Earth's surface precludes sensitive detection below approximately 1Hz. A technology mission, LISA pathfinder, is due to be launched in 2014 to test key LISA technologies.
The Gravitational Wave International Committee
GWIC, the Gravitational Wave International Committee, was formed in 1997 to facilitate international collaboration and cooperation in the construction, operation and use of the major gravitational wave detection facilities world-wide. It is affiliated with the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics as a sub-committee of IUPAP's Particle and Nuclear Astrophysics and Gravitation International Committee. GWIC is also affiliated with the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation.