Partner Experiments and Collaborations
The GEO600 Experiment / Collaboration
The GEO collaboration includes Max Planck and Leibniz Universität researchers together with UK colleagues. They designed and operate the GEO600 gravitational-wave detector near Hannover, Germany. It is used as a think tank and testbed for advanced detector techniques. Many key technologies that contributed to the unprecedented sensitivity of Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) and enabled the discovery have been developed and tested within the GEO collaboration. Examples of these are signal recycling, resonant sideband extraction, and monolithic mirror suspensions. AEI researchers together with the Laser Zentrum Hannover also developed and installed the aLIGO high-power laser systems, which are crucial for the high-precision measurements.
The Virgo Collaboration / European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) consortium
The VIRGO collaboration is composed of approximately 280 scientists, engineers and technicians coming from the CNRS (France) and INFN (Italy) laboratories, Nikhef (Netherlands), plus Polish, Hungarian and Spanish contributions and from EGO. The VIRGO collaboration is involved in the design, the construction and running of the VIRGO gravitational wave antenna as well as the scientific exploitation of the data taken by the global network of GW detectors. The European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) consortium, created by CNRS and INFN, has responsibility to manage the VIRGO detector and coordinate future upgrades of the VIRGO antenna.
KAGRA - The Kamioka Gravitational Wave Telescope
The KAGRA project aims to construct and operate a single 3-km-baseline cryogenic interferometer underground in Japan at the Kamioka mine. The aim is to minimize gravitational gradient and thermal noise through an 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 an ESA mission with NASA participation to deploy a constellation of three satellites at the vertices of an equilateral triangle several 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 20 microhertz to 1 hertz. 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 very successful technology mission, LISA pathfinder, was launched in December 2015 and demonstrated flight-readiness of most LISA Technologies. Mission planning is now underway at ESA and NASA, and in Europe and the US.
The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (formerly ACIGA) brings together Australian researchers working on the detection of gravitational waves and the development of gravitational wave and multi-messenger astronomy. Research by OzGrav members includes the development and installation of advanced optical instrumentation and stabilisation techniques for the LIGO detectors, the development of data analysis techniques, and research into astrophysical sources of gravitational waves.
IPTA - The International Pulsar Timing Array collaboration
The International Pulsar Timing Array collaboration (IPTA) is a consortium of consortia comprising the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA), the North American NanoHertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves Physics Frontiers Center (NANOGrav PFC), and the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA). The consortium currently includes 200 researchers from more than 60 institutions, and it is expanding to collaborations in China, South Africa and India. By timing an ensemble of ultra stable millisecond pulsars, the IPTA is the only experiment that is sensitive to gravitational waves in the nanohertz to microhertz frequency range, targeting supermassive black hole binaries and cosmological backgrounds. It is therefore complementary to ground- and space-based detectors and will result in unique insights into galaxy formation, evolution, and cosmology.
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.