LIGO Document P0900259-v6

Calibration of the LIGO displacement actuators via laser frequency modulation

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We present a new technique for calibration of the displacement actuators of a km-scale interferometric gravitational-wave detector. By modulating the frequency of the laser light with the interferometer locked in a single-arm configuration, we create an effective length variation that we use to calibrate the voice coil actuators that control the arm length. By simultaneously driving the voice coil actuator at a nearby frequency, we are able to calibrate the voice coil actuation coefficient with an estimated one–sigma uncertainty of less than one percent. This technique enables a force-free, single-step actuator calibration.
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