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Passive, free-space heterodyne laser gyroscope

Korth, W. Z. and Heptonstall, A. and Hall, E. D. and Arai, K. and Gustafson, E. K. and Adhikari, R. X. (2016) Passive, free-space heterodyne laser gyroscope. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 33 (3). Art. No. 035004. ISSN 0264-9381. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/33/3/035004.

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Laser gyroscopes making use of the Sagnac effect have been used as highly accurate rotation sensors for many years. First used in aerospace and defense applications, these devices have more recently been used for precision seismology and in other research settings. In particular, mid-sized (~1 m-scale) laser gyros have been under development as tilt sensors to augment the adaptive active seismic isolation systems in terrestrial interferometric gravitational wave detectors. The most prevalent design is the 'active' gyroscope, in which the optical ring cavity used to measure the Sagnac degeneracy breaking is itself a laser resonator. In this article, we describe another topology: a 'passive' gyroscope, in which the sensing cavity is not itself a laser but is instead tracked using external laser beams. While subject to its own limitations, this design is free from the deleterious lock-in effects observed in active systems, and has the advantage that it can be constructed using commercially available components. We demonstrate that our device achieves comparable sensitivity to those of similarly sized active laser gyroscopes.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Korth, W. Z.0000-0003-3527-1348
Hall, E. D.0000-0001-9018-666X
Arai, K.0000-0001-8916-8915
Adhikari, R. X.0000-0002-5731-5076
Alternate Title:Passive, free-space laser gyroscope
Additional Information:© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 23 September 2015, revised 18 November 2015. Accepted for publication 4 December 2015. Published 11 January 2016. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation and the LIGO Laboratory, operating under cooperative Agreement No. PHY-0757058. We would also like to thank Shaoul Ezekiel, as well as Brian Lantz and other members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration Suspensions Working Group, for early suggestions. We further express gratitude to the Caltech SURF program, and in particular to Michelle Stephens, Jenna Walrath, and Zoe Masters for their contributions as summer fellows. Finally, we are grateful for help and advice from Denis Martynov, Tara Chalermsongsak, Frank Seifert, Jenne Driggers, David Yeaton-Massey, and Steve Vass.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:laser, gyroscope, seismic, rotation, gravitational wave
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151015-085123699
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:W Z Korth et al 2016 Class. Quantum Grav. 33 035004
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:61138
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Oct 2015 17:30
Last Modified:12 Jul 2022 19:50

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