Abstract

The effects of residual amplitude modulation (RAM) in laser interferometers using heterodyne sensing can be substantial and difficult to mitigate. In this work, we analyze the effects of RAM on a complex laser interferometer used for gravitational wave detection. The RAM introduces unwanted offsets in the cavity length signals and thereby shifts the operating point of the optical cavities from the nominal point via feedback control. This shift causes variations in the sensing matrix, and leads to degradation in the performance of the precision noise subtraction scheme of the multiple-degree-of-freedom control system. In addition, such detuned optical cavities produce an optomechanical spring, which also perturbs the sensing matrix. We use our simulations to derive requirements on RAM for the Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) detectors, and show that the RAM expected in aLIGO will not limit its sensitivity.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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