The Australian Consortium for Gravitational Astronomy has built a High Optical Power Test Facility north of Perth, Western Australia. Current experiments in collaboration with LIGO are testing thermal lensing compensation, and suspension control on an 80m baseline suspended optical cavity. Future experiments will test radiation pressure instabilities and optical spring in a high power optical cavity with ~200kW circulating power. Once issues of operation and control have been resolved, the facility will go on to assess the noise performance of the high optical power technology through operation of an advanced interferometer with sapphire tests masses, and high performance suspension and isolation systems. The facility combines research and development undertaken by all consortium members, which latest results are presented.
The Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational wave Astronomy (ACIGA) is carrying out research on the detection of gravitational waves using laser interferometry. Here we discuss progress on each of the major sub systems: data analysis, lasers and optics, isolation suspension and thermal noise, and configurations, and report on the development of a high optical power test facility in Gingin, Western Australia.