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Proceedings Paper

A thermal adaptive mode-matching telescope for interferometric gravitational wave detectors
Author(s): Volker Quetschke; Joseph Gleason; Christina Leidel; Michelle Snider; Jinho Lee; Malik Rakhmanov; Liang Zhang; Guido Mueller; David Reitze; David Tanner
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Paper Abstract

In the advancing field of gravitational wave interferometry, the desire for greater sensitivity leads to higher laser powers to reduce shot noise. Current detectors[1] such as LIGO and GEO 600 operate with continuous wave lasers at 10-15 W powers, however future versions will operate at 200 W. One of the major challenges of higher power operation is the creation of thermal lenses in optical components, caused by from the absorption of laser light, yielding optical path deformation and concomitant beam aberrations. This effect is especially problematic in transmissive optical components even at very low levels of absorbed power. In environments that restrict the ability to move optical components (such as gravitational wave detectors), this effect can be used for beneficial purposes, specifically for providing adjustable beam-shaping. The method employs an additional laser having a wavelength strongly absorbed by the substrate and can create an aberration-free parabolic lens can be created provided that the heating beam mode is substantially larger than the transmitted beam mode. The resulting focal length varies inversely with the heating laser power. This idea forms the basis for an adaptive optical telescope. We present experimental and theoretical results on a laser adaptive mode-matching system that uses an argon laser absorbed in a color glass filter. We characterize the dynamic focal range of the lens and measure the resulting aberrations in the transmitted Nd:YAG beam. Our results are in good agreement with a theoretical model incorporating the temperature distribution of the lens and the relevant thermo-optic parameters.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 August 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5876, Laser Beam Shaping VI, 58760W (23 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.617745
Show Author Affiliations
Volker Quetschke, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Joseph Gleason, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Christina Leidel, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Michelle Snider, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Jinho Lee, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Malik Rakhmanov, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Liang Zhang, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Guido Mueller, Univ. of Florida (United States)
David Reitze, Univ. of Florida (United States)
David Tanner, Univ. of Florida (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5876:
Laser Beam Shaping VI
Fred M. Dickey; David L. Shealy, Editor(s)

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