The Caltech-MIT joint LIGO project is operating three long-baseline interferometers (one of 2 km and two of 4 km) in order to unambiguously measure the infinitesimal displacements of isolated test masses which convey the signature of gravitational waves from astrophysical sources. An interferometric gravitational wave detector like LIGO is a complex, non-linear, coupled, dynamic system. This article summarizes various interesting design characteristics of these detectors and techniques that were implemented in order to reach and maintain its operating condition. Specifically, the following topics are discussed: (i) length sensing and control, (ii) alignment sensing and control and (iii) thermal lensing which changes the performance and operating point of the interferometer as the input power to LIGO is increased.
KeywordsInterferometer gravitational wave Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory
PACS Nos04.30.Nn 95.55.Ym 07.05.Tp 07.60.Ly
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- B Barish and R Weiss,Phys. Today 52, 44 (1999)Google Scholar
- [1a]LIGO home page http://www.ligo.caltech.eduGoogle Scholar
- P Saulson,Fundamentals of interferometric gravitational wave detectors (World Scientific, 1994)Google Scholar
- B Bhawal,J. Opt. Soc. Am. A120, 15 (1998)Google Scholar
- B Bhawal, M Evans, M Rakhmanov, V Sannibale and H Yamamoto,Proceedings of the XXXVIIIth Rencontres de Moriond Workshop on Gravitational Waves and Experimental Gravity, Les Arcs, France, 22–29 March, 2003, edited by J Dumarchez and J Tran Thanh Van (The Gioi Publishers, Vietnam, 2004) pp. 131–138Google Scholar
- MATLAB, A technical computing software package developed by the Mathworks Inc. (http://www.mathworks.com)Google Scholar
- M Evans, Lock acquisition in resonant optical interferometers, Ph.D. Dissertation (Caltech, Pasadena, 2001)Google Scholar
- M Evans, N Mavalvala, P Fritschel, R Bork, B Bhawal, R Gustafson, W Kells, M Landry, D Sigg, R Weiss, S Whitcomb and H Yamamoto,Opt. Lett. 598, 27 (2002)Google Scholar
- P Fritschel, N Mavalvala, D Shoemaker, D Sigg, M Zucker and G Gonzalez,Appl. Opt. 28, 37 (1998)Google Scholar
- A E Siegman,Lasers (University Science Books, Sausalito, CA, 1986)Google Scholar
- P Hello and J Y Vinet,J. Phys. (Paris) 51, 2243 (1990)Google Scholar