ETpathfinder, the R&D facility for the Einstein Telescope, is to be located at Duboisdomein 30 in Maastricht. This property is a building Maastricht University has been renting for some years, but which it has now decided to purchase in order to provide ETpathfinder with a permanent home. A team of researchers led by Professor Stefan Hild will move in later this month, with construction on ETpathfinder itself due to start early next year.
The building is located close to the centre of Maastricht and the Kennedy Bridge and is nicknamed “the Black Box”. This is because both the structure and the windows look black, although in fact they are dark blue. It was designed by Architectenbureau Swinkels/Passchier, since renamed Architecten aan de Maas.
ETpathfinder will serve as a testbed for technologies to develop and improve gravitational-wave observatories. Scientists and businesses will work together on vacuum installations, cooling systems, mirrors and mirror coatings, vibration dampers and measurement and control software. Although concerned primarily with technology for the detection of gravitational waves, this R&D lab is also bound to generate new know-how with wider applications.