Abstract

An optical-loss measurement system based on a resonant Fabry–Perot cavity at 1.06 µm in vacuum has been developed for independent monitoring of the cavity total loss and the optical absorption loss. Maintenance of cavity resonance over a one-month period allows the assessment of long-term degradation of the cavity optics in the presence of outgassing materials, with sensitivities of 5 ppm/yr for total cavity loss and 2 ppm/yr for cavity absorption loss. Test results for light-emitting diodes, Kapton-insulated cable assemblies, and Vac-seal epoxy adhesive are given. Scaling of these results to the optical performance requirements of LIGO is discussed.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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