Abstract

We use digitally enhanced heterodyne interferometry to measure the stability of optical fiber laser frequency references. Suppression of laser frequency noise by over four orders of magnitude is achieved using post processing time delay interferometry, allowing us to measure the mechanical stability for frequencies as low as 100 μHz. The performance of the digitally enhanced heterodyne interferometer platform used here is not practically limited by the dynamic range or bandwidth issues that can occur in feedback stabilization systems. This allows longer measurement times, better frequency discrimination, a reduction in spatially uncorrelated noise sources and an increase in interferometer sensitivity. An optical fiber frequency reference with the stability reported here, over a signal band of 20 mHz–1 Hz, has potential for use in demanding environments, such as space-based interferometry missions and optical flywheel applications.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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