Abstract

We report on the status of the Laser Interferometric Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the plans and progress towards Enhanced and Advanced LIGO. The initial LIGO detectors have finished a two year long data run during which a full year of triple-coincidence data was collected at design sensitivity. Much of this run was also coincident with the data runs of interferometers in Europe, GEO600 and Virgo. The joint analysis of data from this international network of detectors is ongoing. No gravitational wave signals have been detected in analyses completed to date. Currently two of the LIGO detectors are being upgraded to increase their sensitivity in a program called Enhanced LIGO. The Enhanced LIGO detectors will start another roughly one year long data run with increased sensitivity in 2009. In parallel, construction of Advanced LIGO, a major upgrade to LIGO, has begun. Installation and commissioning of Advanced LIGO hardware at the LIGO sites will commence at the end of the Enhanced LIGO data run in 2011. When fully commissioned, the Advanced LIGO detectors will be ten times as sensitive as the initial LIGO detectors. Advanced LIGO is expected to make several gravitational wave detections per year.

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