Abstract

We present a method by which the effect of laser field variations on the signal output of an interferometric gravitational wave detector is rigorously determined. Using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) optical configuration of a power recycled Michelson interferometer with Fabry–Perot arm cavities as an example, we calculate the excess noise after the input filter cavity (mode cleaner) and the dependence of the detector strain sensitivity on laser frequency and amplitude noise, radio frequency oscillator noise, and scattered-light phase noise. We find that noise on the radio frequency sidebands generally limits the detector’s sensitivity.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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