A significant operational difficulty with very large ring laser gyroscopes is the length of time required to achieve the desired single-mode configuration. A control technique has been developed where the order of mode splitting between corotating beams is alternated. Theoretical advantages to this are the elimination of noise caused by variations in perimeter and systematic error caused by Adler pulling. External seeding of mode configurations has been proposed to allow the technique to work fast enough to eliminate known sources of perimeter perturbations. While investigating the intensity requirements for this concept, we found that the operating mode of a large ring laser can be successfully self-seeded with seed beams of near () single photon cavity mode population.
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