In recent years, GEO600 has become an international think-tank and research centre for gravitational wave technology, spawning new developments that are now used in gravitational wave detectors worldwide.
New technologies The new key technologies include highly stable laser light, triple pendulum mirror suspensions, as well as an optical method for recycling laser light. The technologies were developed at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute/AEI) Hannover and Leibniz Universität Hannover in close cooperation with the Laser Zentrum Hannover eV (LZH, Laser Centre Hannover) and the University of Glasgow in the UK.
Since 2009 the GEO-HF upgrade program commenced at GEO600 to once more extend the technologically possible. Amongst the next generation techniques implemented in GEO600 since 2009 are the implementation of squeezed light, the inclusion of an output mode cleaner, an increase of the employed laser power, a compensation of thermal warping of optics, a changed readout of the detector, and a change in the signal-recycling. [more]
The gravitational wave detector Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) will eventually be more than ten times more sensitive, and over a much broader frequency band, than initial LIGO. In the first observation rund “O1” it was about four times more sensitive than initial LIGO. GEO600 is a partner in the aLIGO project and contributes the pre-stabilized laser system (PSL) for all Advanced LIGO detectors. Furthermore GEO scientists are involved in the commissioning and operation of the LIGO interferometers.[more]
Since September 2011, when the S6e science run was finished, GEO600 has been engaged in the so-called Astrowatch program. While the LIGO and Virgo detectors pursue their respective advanced detector upgrade programs, GEO600 is the most sensitive, and the only interferometric, gravitational wave detector in operation. [more]
The sensitivity of GEO600 depends on the bandwidth which in its turn depends on the signal recycling factor. The signal recycling of GEO600 thus provides the opportunity to change the spectral characteristics of the detector response especially those due to the shot noise limitations. [more]