Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Madeline Wade

Second Advisor

Leslie Wade

Abstract

The LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) scientific collaboration works to directly detect the presence of gravitational waves passing through the Earth. This project is concerned with calibration software development and tests of that software. I have written and tested an addition to LIGO's calibration process which corrects inaccuracies in time domain calibration at high frequencies.

The goals of this thesis project cross several different aspects of the LIGO science. In calibration, this project aims to develop software that will update the Fabry-Perot cavity filter as the cavity frequency changes over time, determine how often the cavity filter needs to be updated to maintain an acceptable amount of calibration error, and incorporate this software into the calibration pipeline to aid in LIGO data production. A final goal of this project is to incorporate calibration errors into gravitational wave models in order to determine how much calibration error is acceptable in the high frequency regime when considering astrophysical results.

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