Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Mitigation of parametric instabilities based on radiation pressure in gravitational wave detectors

Abstract : Direct detection of Gravitational Waves was demonstrated for the first time in 2015 with km-scale Michelson interferometers. In order to reduce the shot noise at high frequency of these detectors high optical power in the arm cavities is needed. At that high circulating power a nonlinear optomechanical phenomenon called parametric instability (PI) may occur that induce the amplification of mirror’s eigenmodes. It limits the optical power and can cause the loss of the interferometer’s control if notmitigated.Several PI mitigation strategies have been proposed and already implemented in current gravitational wave detectors. These schemes keep them working without PI at the current optical power level in the cavities but they are not adapted to PI involving any kind of mechanical mirror modes, which needs to be considered when the optical circulation power is increased further. Next generation detectors aim at increasing their sensitivity of a factor of ten compared to current detectors. This can be achieved, inter alia, through the increase of the optical power in the arm cavities which will imply more PI.In this thesis an active and flexible PI mitigation strategy based on radiation pressure of a movable laser beam is proposed. The idea is to apply a damping force to mitigate PI. Fast beam steering is required to point at different positions of the cavity mirror with a small laser spot during one period of the mechanical mode with frequencies in the kHz-range. A sensitive sensing method is required to detect PI at the level ofthermal excitation.First experimental studies of a table-top setup are presented: rapid beam deflection based on acousto-optic modulators is investigated. A final configuration with 2D arbitrary beam steering with a maximal deflection rate of 10 MHz is demonstrated for a maximal optical power of 3.6 W, corresponding to a radiation pressure force of 24 nN. It satisfies the requirements of the laser beam that should be used as radiation pressure force for our proposed PI damping scheme.Sensing of mechanical mirror modes is investigated with the 2D beam steering system based on a Michelson interferometer. A sensitivity corresponding to a differential arm length change of δL = 4.8 · 10^-14 m/√Hz is achieved for a fixed beam position on the mirror. It is around one order of magnitude higher than the expected displacement of the mirror due to thermally excited mirror modes. Propositions are given to improve the sensitivity of the interferometer and to use the same setup to investigate active damping of mirror modes via radiation pressure.
Document type :
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : ABES STAR :  Contact
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 9:58:12 AM
Last modification on : Friday, May 13, 2022 - 3:20:52 AM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-03664547, version 1



Thomas Harder. Mitigation of parametric instabilities based on radiation pressure in gravitational wave detectors. Astrophysics [astro-ph]. Université Côte d'Azur, 2022. English. ⟨NNT : 2022COAZ4005⟩. ⟨tel-03664547⟩



Record views


Files downloads