Advanced LIGO

Advanced LIGO

The Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) detector will eventually be more than ten times more sensitive, and over a much broader frequency band, than initial LIGO. The AEI is a partner in the aLIGO project and contributes the pre-stabilized laser system for all aLIGO detectors. Furthermore AEI scientists are involved in the commissioning and operation of the aLIGO interferometers.

AEI carries subsystem responsibility for the Advanced LIGO 200 W pre-stabilized laser systems. In 2010-2012, AEI has provided, delivered and installed the laser systems both at the Hanford and Livingston observatory sites. The work on the PSL is split between the Laser Zentrum Hannover which concentrates on the laser development and the AEI which is in charge of diagnostic, control and stabilization of the high power laser system.

The Advanced LIGO pre-stabilized laser systems

The aLIGO PSL consists of a 2 W Nd:YAG seed laser which is amplified via a Nd:YVO amplifier stage to 35 W. This 35 W laser serves as a master laser in an injection-locking scheme to seed a 200 W Nd:YAG high power oscillator stage. The output of the high power stage is spatially filtered by a newly developed bow-tie pre-mode cleaner (PMC) resonator which transmits 165 W in the fundamental Gaussian mode with only 1 % of the power in higher order modes. The PMC has two auxiliary ports to pick-off beam samples for the power and frequency stabilization. A diagnostic breadboard (DBB) is an integral part of the PSL and allows for a fully automated characterization of the 35 W and the 200 W laser with regard to temporal and spatial fluctuations and the spatial beam quality.

Since their installation the aLIGO PSLs operate stable and provide reliable light sources for the gravitational wave detectors.

In addition to the lasers at the LIGO site a copy of the 200 W PSL is operated in the AEI labs to evaluate the long-term performance of the system and to work on the optimization of system components. Furthermore the highly-stable 165 W laser beam is used in several experiments to generate high power beams at different wavelengths and with novel spatial beam profiles.

Group members

Name
Phone
Fax
Room
Nina Bode
PhD Student
  • +49 511 762-17076
L112
Christoph Gentemann
Master Student
L108
Joscha Heinze
PhD Student
  • +49 511 762-17170
L105
Dr. Jan-Simon Hennig
Junior Scientist/Postdoc
  • +49 511 762-17102
L104
Dr. Ali Hreibi
Junior Scientist/Postdoc
  • +49 511 762-17048
112
Jonas Junker
PhD Student
  • +49 511 762-17073
017
Kanioar Karan
PhD Student
  • +49 511 762-17053
L104
Nicole Knust
PhD Student
Nico Koper
PhD Student
  • +49 511 762 17167
L108
Fabian Meylahn
PhD Student
  • 0511-762-19476
L114
Malte Matthias Misfeldt
PhD Student
  • +49 511 762-4994
C025
Tobias Panzier
Student Assistant
L108
Michaela Pickenpack
Research Engineer
  • +49 511 762-2502
L103
Dr. Jan Hendrik Pöld
Junior Scientist/Postdoc
  • +49 511 762-17048
L112
Michael Steinke
Research Programmer
Dr. Marina Trad Nery
Junior Scientist/Postdoc
  • +49 511 762-12799
L104
Dr. Henning Vahlbruch
Junior Scientist/Postdoc
  • +49 511 762-17092
006
Jasper Venneberg
PhD Student
  • +49 511 762-17178
L105
Felix Wellmann
Research Programmer
  • +49 511 2788-275
LHZ
Apl. Prof. Dr. Benno Willke
Research Group Leader
  • +49 511 762-2360
L107
Benno Willke's Publications
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