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Company Reps Gather To Discuss Future SEI Design

Company Reps Gather To Discuss Future SEI Design

- Contributed by Irena Petrac and Larry Jones

Stanford Proposers' Conference. A Proposers' Conference was held April 25th at Stanford University to discuss the procurement of the design and fabrication of In-Vacuum Mechanical Elements (mechanical structures) of the Advanced LIGO Seismic Isolation System (SEI). Eleven representatives from five companies attended. Also present were representatives from LIGO/Caltech, Stanford University and Louisiana State University.

The group visited Stanford's End Station 2 facility to view the Advanced Seismic Isolation Technology Demonstrator (SEI Tech Demo) which is currently undergoing testing. The SEI Tech Demo represents the baseline design for Advanced LIGO SEI mechanical structures, to be improved on, refined and completed in the course of this procurement. Brian Lantz of Stanford led the tour and described the SEI Tech Demo's physical details and test results to date. Our visitors expressed keen interest in Brian's presentation and especially in the physical configuration of the complex aluminum structure on display. Presentations were also given explaining the LIGO program, contract strategy, science background of the Tech Demo design, and design requirements for the SEI mechanical structures to be built, with special emphasis on mass limits, balancing, and Finite Element Analysis modeling.

Viewing of the Tech Demo structure and the detailed presentations of the critical design requirements brought home once again the sizeable challenge of the design task at hand. LIGO scientists Lantz and Joe Giaime are confident that the complex requirements will enable the mechanical structures to do their part in isolating critical interferometer components by attenuating the ground motion by more than three orders of magnitude at 10Hz. Judging from inputs from the representatives attending, there are a number of qualified and optimistic companies out there who are ready and willing to take on the job.