LIGO Document G1701180-v1

Measuring Scattering Off of LIGO Test Masses

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The LIGO detectors are modified Michelson interferometers. Because of the sensitivity
necessary to detect gravitational waves, minimizing optical losses along each arm of the interferometer is critical to achieving the signal to noise ratio necessary to detect gravitational waves. Therefore, understanding where losses comes from and minimizing each one can help increase the performance of the detector. One source of optical loss that has been identified but has not been completely characterized is light scattering off of the tests masses at the ends of each of the arms of the interferometer. More than 100kW of laser power is reflected off of the test masses at the end of each arm, and a very small, unknown portion of it is scattered and out of the beam. This project will seek to continue work done by a previous SURF student to calibrate cameras situated at the end of the arms which observe the scattering off the test masses. By calibrating the cameras, the amount of light scattered by the test masses can be measured. After this project is completed, additional commissioning tasks will be started and completed as time permits.
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Surf2017 Surf17
Notes and Changes:
SURF Project Christian Pluchar
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