Final testing before the 3rd Observation Run
Today March 4th, 2019 the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo detectors are starting their 14th Engineering Run. ER14 will last at least four weeks: it will be the final test before the start of the 3rd LIGO-Virgo Observation Run (O3). During the first half of the run activities will be scheduled that might still improve the three interferometres in the network. ER14 will allow scientists to perform long-term tests of the detector stability, as well as to check the readiness of the software that analyses data in real time. No automatic open public alerts will be issued during this period: any significant candidate trigger identified in the data would have to pass human vetting first.
The successful completion of ER14 will lead the path to the one year-long O3 science run: O3 will be the longest period during which the global network of advanced gravitational-wave detectors will be observing the Universe with unsurpassed sensitivity. Since the end of the O2 science run in August 2017, the LIGO and Virgo Collaborations have continued working on their instruments to improve their performance. The figure on the left shows how the sensitivity of Advanced Virgo has progressed steadily over the past months.