The next detectors for gravitational wave astronomy

David Blair*, Li Ju, ChunNong N. Zhao, LinQing Q. Wen, HaiXing X. Miao, RongGen G. Cai, JiangRui R. Gao, XueChun C. Lin, Dong Liu, Ling An Wu, ZongHong H. Zhu, Giles Hammond, Ho Jung Paik, Viviana Fafone, Alessio Rocchi, Carl Blair, YiQiu Q. Ma, JiaYi Y. Qin, Michael Page

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper focuses on the next detectors for gravitational wave astronomy which will be required after the current ground based detectors have completed their initial observations, and probably achieved the first direct detection of gravitational waves. The next detectors will need to have greater sensitivity, while also enabling the world array of detectors to have improved angular resolution to allow localisation of signal sources. Sect. 1 of this paper begins by reviewing proposals for the next ground based detectors, and presents an analysis of the sensitivity of an 8 km armlength detector, which is proposed as a safe and cost-effective means to attain a 4-fold improvement in sensitivity. The scientific benefits of creating a pair of such detectors in China and Australia is emphasised. Sect. 2 of this paper discusses the high performance suspension systems for test masses that will be an essential component for future detectors, while sect. 3 discusses solutions to the problem of Newtonian noise which arise from fluctuations in gravity gradient forces acting on test masses. Such gravitational perturbations cannot be shielded, and set limits to low frequency sensitivity unless measured and suppressed. Sects. 4 and 5 address critical operational technologies that will be ongoing issues in future detectors. Sect. 4 addresses the design of thermal compensation systems needed in all high optical power interferometers operating at room temperature. Parametric instability control is addressed in sect. 5. Only recently proven to occur in Advanced LIGO, parametric instability phenomenon brings both risks and opportunities for future detectors. The path to future enhancements of detectors will come from quantum measurement technologies. Sect. 6 focuses on the use of optomechanical devices for obtaining enhanced sensitivity, while sect. 7 reviews a range of quantum measurement options.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120405
Number of pages34
JournalScience China Physics, Mechanics and Astronomy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • future gravitational wave detectors
  • opto-mechanics
  • quantum limit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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