Control Room
Electrical Engineering Lab
Laser and Vacuum Equipment Area (LVEA)
LVEA Infrasound Detector
LVEA Test Mass
Mass Storage Room Computers
Outside the Laser Enclosure
LIGO Hanford Beam Tube Display
Pre-Stabilized Laser Table 1
Pre-Stabilized Laser Table 2
Pre-Stabilized Laser Table 3
X Arm End Station
Y Arm End Station 1
Y Arm End Station 2

Control Room

The LIGO Hanford Observatory (LHO) control room provides the interface that's necessary for personnel to control LHO's gravitational wave detector (named H1). From all of the control room work stations, scientists and engineers can access the screens that contain the controls and readbacks for all of the detector's subsystems and feedback loops. This panoramic view was created in the midst of the Advanced LIGO upgrade program at LHO. Upon the completion of Advanced LIGO in 2015, the large projection screens on the front wall have been removed, and the entire front wall of the control room is covered by a bank of ten large flat screens, bringing the total number of flat screen monitors to 23. LIGO needs all of this viewing space to monitor the many additional signals that are present in the upgraded detectors.


This is a 360 panoramic image. To look around, place the cursor over the image and hold down the left mouse button while moving the mouse. To zoom in, press the SHIFT key. To zoom out, press the CONTROL key.


If you begin this panorama by looking at the front of the control room, you'll see two digital clocks at the top of the front wall. The right-side clock reads local time and the left-side clock reads universal time (UTC). Each of the desktop work stations consists of two monitors per CPU; in 2015 all of the work stations are IMacs. Look carefully at the front right of the room and you'll see a pair of CRT monitors. These "antiques" offer a very good contrast ratio that remains useful for LIGO to image subtle features of the infrared laser light inside of H1. Pan clockwise -- the mid-room work station (denim-jacketed operator at the controls) is the operator station. When LIGO operates H1 in data-taking mode, only the person at this station is authorized to send instructions to the detector.

© Zsolt Frei, Dale Ingram, William Katzman, Peter Pozsgai and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, 2015