LIGO Document G1300868-v1

Controlling Transient Thermal Effects in High-Power Gravitational-Wave Detectors

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Detecting gravitational waves from high-frequency emitters (such as black hole collisions) requires gravitational-wave detectors with high operating laser powers; these cause thermal effects in the test-masses that deteriorate control signals and decrease interferometer sensitivity. To correct these, a prototype control system model was developed for Advanced LIGOís thermal compensation system to reduce optical wavefront distortion from thermal lensing and surface deformation. A finite element model of the heating in the test-mass was developed in COMSOL to interact dynamically with the control system developed in MATLAB, as well as a linearized time-efficient heating model using only MATLAB. We analyzed data from both models and from experiment to verify the systemís behavior and validate the control system modelís integrity.
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