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Published October 10, 2016 | public
Journal Article Open

Overview of Advanced LIGO Adaptive Optics


This is an overview of the adaptive optics used in Advanced LIGO (aLIGO), known as the thermal compensation system (TCS). The TCS was designed to minimize thermally induced spatial distortions in the interferometer optical modes and to provide some correction for static curvature errors in the core optics of aLIGO. The TCS is comprised of ring heater actuators, spatially tunable CO_2 laser projectors, and Hartmann wavefront sensors. The system meets the requirements of correcting for nominal distortion in aLIGO to a maximum residual error of 5.4 nm rms, weighted across the laser beam, for up to 125 W of laser input power into the interferometer.

Additional Information

© 2016 Optical Society of America. Received 7 July 2016; revised 19 August 2016; accepted 26 August 2016; posted 26 August 2016 (Doc. ID 269484); published 6 October 2016. Funding: Australian Research Council (ARC) (LE0989093); National Science Foundation (NSF) (PHY-0757058, PHY-0823459). The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory and Advanced LIGO as well as the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck-Society (MPS), and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction of Advanced LIGO and construction and operation of the GEO600 detector. Additional support for Advanced LIGO was provided by the Australian Research Council. LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation, and operates under cooperative agreement PHY-0757058. Advanced LIGO was built under award PHY-0823459. This article has been assigned LIGO document number LIGO-P1600169.

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023