Adaptive optics methods in gravitational wave interferometric detectors, a perspective
September 17, 2018
October 23, 2018
The performance of present and future gravitational wave detectors is limited by fundamental
factors, such as thermal noise, seismic or newtonian noise and quantum nature of light. Besides,
technological factors impact the reach of advanced detectors in that upgrade strategies are
limited by state-of-art performances. In the realm of optics, the quantum limit to sensitivity
will be addressed by injecting higher laser power and by exploiting the capabilities of squeezed
light. In turn, technological efforts in the preparation of suitable optics able to meet more and
more demandig requirements are ongoing. Moreover, solutions to mitigate the effect of known
showstoppers such as parametric instablities are being studied.
The present day strategy to correct for residual cold defects in the core optics and to counteract
the thermal effects due to power absorption is embedded in a set of sensors and actuators
integrated in the Advanced Virgo design, the so called Thermal Compensation System (TCS).
This system is designed to be focused on the needs of high power operation of the detector,
nonetheless it is highly versatile and can deal with foreseen and unexpected issues. We discuss
the features of the TCS with emphasis on its versatility and portability to upgraded detectors; we
also present the status of the R&D activity in the Tor Vergata labs, highlighting new applications
where the methods of TCS can have a relevant impact, such as adaptive mode matching for
squeezing and damping of parametric instabilities.
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