A 'Violin-Mode' shadow sensor for interferometric gravitational wave detectors

N A Lockerbie, K V Tokmakov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper describes a system of four novel shadow detectors having, collectively, a displacement sensitivity of (69 ± 13) picometres (rms) / √Hz, at 500 Hz, over a measuring span of ±0.1 mm. The detectors were designed to monitor the vibrations of the 600 mm long, 400 µm diameter, silica suspension fibres of the mirrors for the Advanced LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory) gravitational wave detectors, at the resonances of the so-called Violin Modes (VM). The VM detection system described here had a target sensitivity of 100 pm (rms)/√Hz at 500 Hz, together with, ultimately, a required detection span of ±0.1 mm about the mean position of each fibre—in order to compensate for potential slow drift over time of fibre position, due to mechanical relaxation. The full sensor system, comprising emitters (sources of illumination) and shadow detectors, therefore met these specifications. Using these sensors, VM resonances having amplitudes of 1.2 nm (rms), were detected in the suspension fibres of an Advanced LIGO dummy test-mass. The VM bandwidth of the sensor, determined by its transimpedance amplifier, was 226 Hz–8.93 kHz at the —3 dB points. This paper focuses mainly on the detector side of the shadow-sensors. The emitters are described in an accompanying paper.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125110
Number of pages12
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number12
Early online date7 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2014


  • shadow displacement sensors
  • violin modes
  • gravitational wave detectors
  • shadow sensors
  • optical sensing
  • suspensions


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