Abstract

The sounding rocket principle of equivalence measurement uses a set of four laser gauges operating in Fabry–Perot cavities to determine the relative acceleration of two test masses that are chemically different. One end of each cavity is a flat mirror on a test mass. Because the test masses are unconstrained and thus expected to rotate slightly during measurement, and because the distance measurements are made at the sub-picometer level, it is essential to have real-time alignment of the beam entering the cavity. However, the cavity must be used in reflection and space is limited. We show that Anderson’s alignment method can be used in reflection, but that it requires that the Fabry–Perot cavity have mirrors with significantly unequal reflectivities.

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