The ANU Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics (CGA), is founded to build a world-leading role for Australia in the science and technology of gravitational wave sources. The centre strategically unifies the ongoing research at ANU Research School of Physics and ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Active fields of research at CGA span instrumentation, theory, data analysis, source follow-up and multi-messenger astronomy. The centre operates world-class facilities and collaborates with national and international observatories and gravitational wave detectors that have a long history of research and technical activity at the forefront of astronomy and astrophysics.
A large proportion of the research in the centre is directed towards gravitational wave detection, the related area of high precision optical metrology, and the exploitation of gravitational waves for astronomy. CGA researchers have contributed to the detection of gravitational waves, and continuous improvements of the sensitivity of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors. Our research and development is focused on technologies for the improvement of the detection of gravitational waves. In CGA laboratories, our researchers are working on advanced interferometer configurations and complex control systems, measurement of thermal and quantum noise, optical coating research, Newtonian noise instrumentation, and technologies for space interferometry.
The theory and data analyses group within the centre contribute and co-ordinate to the analyses and signal extraction of the data-pipeline from the gravitational wave observatories.
Electromagnetic follow-up of gravitational wave observations are carried out by the SkyMapper telescope and the ANU 2.3m Telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory operated by the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
In addition, our team members have contributed in international projects such as GRACE Follow-On Mission, and frequency stabilisation for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA). Our academics have translated their research technologies into spin-off companies and industrial applications.
The centre incorporates two Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence, Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) and Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS), which facilitate integral collaborations with other national and international research teams.
Analysing data from gravitational wave detectors requires significant computational resources. Centre staff have access to the Australian National Computational Infrastructure on the campus of The Australian National University, the OzSTAR Supercomputing Facility at Swinburne University of Technology provided through OzGrav, and computational facilities of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.