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HAL : in2p3-00025998, version 1

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6th Edoardo Amaldi conference on gravitational waves, Okinawa : Japon
Design and construction of a prototype of a flat top beam interferometer and initial tests
J. Agresti, E. D'Ambrosio, R. DeSalvo, D. Forest, B. Lagrange, J.M. Mackowski1, C. Michel1, J.L. Montorio1, N. Morgado1, L. Pinard1, A. Remillieux1, B. Simoni, M. Tarallo, P. Willems

A non-Gaussian, flat-top laser beam profile, also called Mesa Beam Profile, supported by non spherical mirrors known as Mexican Hat (MH) mirrors, has been proposed as a way to depress the mirror thermal noise and thus improve the sensitivity of future interferometric Gravitational Wave detectors, including Advanced LIGO [1]. Non-Gaussian beam configurations have never been tested before [2] hence the main motivation of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of this new concept. A 7m rigid suspended Fabry-Perot (FP) cavity which can support a scaled version of a Mesa beam applicable to the LIGO interferometers has been developed. The FP cavity prototype is being designed to prove the feasibility of actual MH mirror profiles, determine whether a MH mirror cavity is capable of transforming an incoming Gaussian beam into a flat top beam profile, study the effects of unavoidable mirror imperfections on the resulting beam profile and gauge the difficulties associated with locking and maintaining the alignment of such an optical cavity. We present the design of the experimental apparatus and simulations comparing Gaussian and Mesa beams performed both with ideal and current (measured) mirror profiles. An overview of the technique used to manufacture this kind of mirror and initial results showing Mesa beam properties are presented.
1 :  LMA - Laboratoire des matériaux avancés
Physique/Physique/Instrumentations et Détecteurs