First tests of a truncated icosahedral gravitational wave antenna

Stephen M. Merkowitz, Louisiana State University
Warren W. Johnson, Louisiana State University


We constructed a prototype of a spherical gravitational wave antenna in the shape of a truncated icosahedron. We used it to test several aspects of the practicality of a spherical multimode antenna. We successfully tested a first-order direction finding algorithm, which uses fixed linear combinations of six motion sensor responses to infer the relative amplitudes of the quadrupole modes and then the location of a test impulse. This method is immediately applicable to the determination of the direction of a gravitation wave. © 1996 The American Physical Society.