Interferometric gravitational-wave detectors are complex instruments comprised of a Michelson interferometer enhanced by multiple coupled cavities. Active feedback control is required to operate these instruments and keep the cavities locked on resonance. The optical response is highly nonlinear until a good operating point is reached. The linear operating range is between 0.01% and 1% of a fringe for each degree of freedom. The resonance lock has to be achieved in all five degrees of freedom simultaneously, making the acquisition difficult. Furthermore, the cavity linewidth seen by the laser is only ~1 Hz, which is four orders of magnitude smaller than the linewidth of the free running laser. The arm length stabilization system is a new technique used for arm cavity locking in Advanced LIGO. Together with a modulation technique utilizing third harmonics to lock the central Michelson interferometer, the Advanced LIGO detector has been successfully locked and brought to an operating point where detecting gravitational-waves becomes feasible.
- Gravitational-wave detector
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)