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How We Monitor Data Collection with Advanced LIGO

5 Nov 2015, 04:36 UTC
How We Monitor Data Collection with Advanced LIGO
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The first Advanced LIGO observing run (O1) started in mid-September and will end in mid-January. Today I want to tell you about how we collect our data. On the surface this is obvious: with computers and sensitive electronics. But how do we keep the detector working so that we can collect data and how do we know that our data is good?The LIGO Livingston control room on 3 November 2015 (during O1).OPERATORSThe most important step in collecting data is that the detector is working. This is the primary job responsibility of the roughly 10 operators who work at the site. There are 3 10-hour shifts a day, each one overlapping with the previous operator's shift by 2 hours so that the incoming operator can be brought up to speed on any issues that may be ongoing. Since O1 will last into mid-January, that means that there will be at least the operator in the control room every night, weekend, and holiday - even during Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas morning, and New Years at midnight! During their shift, they monitor various things like the power of the laser, local vibrations, and a multitude of other readings from all over the detector that ...

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