Characterization of the Virgo seismic environment

T. Accadia, J.F.J. van den Brand, H.J. Bulten, D.S. Rabeling

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Virgo gravitational wave detector is an interferometer (ITF) with 3 km arms located in Pisa, Italy. From July to October 2010, Virgo performed its third science run (VSR3) in coincidence with the LIGO detectors. Despite several techniques adopted to isolate the ITF from the environment, seismic noise remains an important issue for Virgo. Vibrations produced by the detector infrastructure (such as air conditioning units, water chillers/heaters, pumps) are found to affect Virgos sensitivity, with the main coupling mechanisms being through beam jitter and scattered light processes. The Advanced Virgo design seeks to reduce ITF couplings to environmental noise by having most vibration-sensitive components suspended and in vacuum, as well as muffle and relocate loud machines. During the months of June and July in 2010, a Güralp-3TD seismometer was stationed at various locations around the Virgo site hosting major infrastructure machines. Seismic data were examined using spectral and coherence analysis with seismic probes close to the detector. The primary aim of this study was to identify noisy machines which seismically affect the ITF environment and thus require mitigation attention. Analyzed machines are located at various distances from the experimental halls, ranging from 10 to 100 m. An attempt is made to measure the attenuation of emitted noise at the ITF and correlate it with the distance from the source and with seismic attenuation models in soil.
Original languageEnglish
Article number025005
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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