25 April 2018 Update on the LIGO Detectors
The detector installation/commissioning program between O2 and O3 program has generally been proceeding well at both LLO and LHO, though it is important to keep in mind the substantial scope of the planned installations. Setbacks have understandably occurred, recent examples being the failure of the welding laser at LLO, the ETMX fiber breakage at LHO, and complications in vacuum repair activities at both observatories. It is now evident that commissioning teams will not be able to commence work with the full interferometers before the end of June 2018.
As the performance goal for O3 remains at a BNS inspiral range of 120 Mpc, Operations Management Team (OMT) has determined that this delay cannot be accommodated by shortening the time scheduled for commissioning. It is estimated that approximately six months of commissioning is required to achieve that goal. The start of O3 is thus likely delayed until the beginning of 2019. Updates will be provided once the Laboratory completes the installations and begins the commissioning phase. Updates on the engineering run before O3 will be provided by late summer.
Questions from outside of the LIGO Lab should be directed to David Shoemaker, email@example.com.
Source: LIGO-L1800091 (requires LIGO.ORG credentials)