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Journal Article

First Demonstration of Electrostatic Damping of Parametric Instability at Advanced LIGO


Grote,  Hartmut
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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The LIGO Scientific Collaboration Instrument Science Authors, Blair, C., Gras, S., Abbott, R., Aston, S., Betzwieser, J., et al. (2017). First Demonstration of Electrostatic Damping of Parametric Instability at Advanced LIGO. Physical Review Letters, 118: 151102. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.151102.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-4918-5
Interferometric gravitational wave detectors operate with high optical power in their arms in order to achieve high shot-noise limited strain sensitivity. A significant limitation to increasing the optical power is the phenomenon of three-mode parametric instabilities, in which the laser field in the arm cavities is scattered into higher order optical modes by acoustic modes of the cavity mirrors. The optical modes can further drive the acoustic modes via radiation pressure, potentially producing an exponential buildup. One proposed technique to stabilize parametric instability is active damping of acoustic modes. We report here the first demonstration of damping a parametrically unstable mode using active feedback forces on the cavity mirror. A 15,538 Hz mode that grew exponentially with a time constant of 182 sec was damped using electro-static actuation, with a resulting decay time constant of 23 sec. An average control force of 0.03 nNrms was required to maintain the acoustic mode at its minimum amplitude.