LIGO Laboratory Statement on Long Term Future Observing Plans

Since 2015, the U.S. National Science Foundation Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (NSF LIGO) Hanford and Livingston Observatories have successfully carried out a series of observing runs with the Advanced NSF LIGO interferometers in partnership with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the European Gravitational Observatory and the Virgo Collaboration. On May 24, 2023, the Hanford and Livingston interferometers began observing run 4, O4. A series of upgrades are planned for after O4. Upon completion of those upgrades, LIGO, Virgo, and KAGRA will participate in a longer-duration observing run, O5, expected to last until sometime in 2028.

Beyond 2028, the LIGO Laboratory is firmly committed to continued observations of the gravitational-wave sky. Plans are currently under development by LIGO to chart a path for interferometer upgrades and observing periods beyond O5 and continuing into the next decade. These plans will continue to be developed and refined and may further evolve in response to inputs from the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA gravitational-wave community and external conditions. They are also contingent upon availability of LIGO Operations funding.

For queries regarding this LIGO Laboratory strategic plan update, please contact Dave Reitze (Executive Director).