Suppression of thermal transients in advanced LIGO interferometers using CO2 laser preheating

V. Jaberian Hamedan, C. Zhao, L. Ju, C. Blair, D. G. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In high optical power interferometric gravitational wave detectors, such as Advanced LIGO, the thermal effects due to optical absorption in the mirror coatings and the slow thermal response of fused silica substrate cause time dependent changes in the mirror profile. After locking, high optical power builds up in the arm cavities. Absorption induced heating causes optical cavity transverse mode frequencies to drift over a period of hours, relative to the fundamental mode. At high optical power this can cause time dependent transient parametric instability, which can lead to interferometer disfunction. In this paper, we model the use of CO2 laser heating designed to enable the interferometer to be maintained in a thermal condition such that transient changes in the mirrors are greatly reduced. This can minimize transient parametric instability and compensate dark port power fluctuations. Modeling results are presented for both single compensation where a CO2 laser acting on one test mass per cavity, and double compensation using one CO2 laser for each test mass. Using parameters of the LIGO Hanford Observatory X-arm as an example, single compensation allows the maximum mode frequency shift to be limited to 6% of its uncompensated value. However, single compensation causes transient degradation of the contrast defect. Double compensation minimise contrast defect degradation and reduces transients to less than 1% if the CO2 laser spot is positioned within 2 mm of the cavity beam position.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115006
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2018


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