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Matrix Heater in the Gravitational Wave Observatory GEO 600

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posted on 2023-11-30, 05:50 authored by Holger Wittel, Christoph Affeldt, Aparna Bisht, Suresh Doravari, Hartmut Grote, James Lough, Harald Lück, Emil Schreiber, Kenneth A. Strain, Karsten Danzmann
Large scale laser interferometric gravitational wave detectors (GWDs), such as GEO 600 require high quality optics to reach their design sensitivity. The inevitable surface imperfections, inhomogeneities and light-absorption induced thermal lensing in the optics can convert laser light from the fundamental mode to unwanted higher order modes, and pose challenges to the operation and sensitivity of the GWDs. Here we demonstrate the practical implementation of a thermal projection system which reduces those unwanted effects via targeted spatial heating of the optics. The thermal projector consists of 108 individually addressable heating elements which are imaged onto the beam splitter of GEO 600. We describe the optimization of the spatial heating profile and obtained results.

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