MSc/BSc thesis: Identification of noise performance impacts for different signal readout methods in heterodyne interferometry

Job Offer from January 28, 2022

High precision interferometers are the cornerstones of modern gravitational wave astronomy and geodesy missions. They are responsible for their huge success. These measurement devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with each new generation reaching staggering measurement accuracy. Space-based interferometers utilize photo-diodes with sensor surfaces divided into four segments. This gives us a myriad of different readout techniques for acquiring scientific data.

Till recently, not much attention was paid to the differences between these methods until some experiments and simulations showed a measurable difference. This unexpected result led to a high interest in the quantification of it. Or more precisely: Which readout method can produce the best noise performance for a given interferometric setup and what factors are crucial for an informed decision.

The project

For this Master’s or Bachelor’s project, you will use our in-house C++ library IfoCAD to simulate interferometer setups and investigate the impact of different readout methods on noise performance. Then, by systematic changes to the setup, you will try to identify the criteria for when a readout method improves or worsens the sensitivity. To confirm these findings, you will then compare the simulation to experimental data.

Your work will help predict and determine the optimal use of readout signals for future interferometer designs.

Prior knowledge about Gaussian beam theory, interferometry, and C/C++ would be beneficial.

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