I think the boosts that are currently stuffed on the CM board are too aggressive to be usable for locking the interferometer. I propose some changes.
[CM board schematic]
[CM board transfer function measurement]
[Measurement of the AO path TF]. Empirically, I have observed that the CARM OLTF has ~90 degrees phase margin available at the UGF when no boosts are engaged, which is consistent with Koji's measurement. Assuming we want at least 30 degrees phase margin in the final configuration, and assuming a UGF to be ~10 kHz, the current boosts eat up way too much phase at 10 kHz. Attachment #1 shows the current TFs (dashed lines), as the boosts are serially engaged. I have subtracted the 180 degrees coming from the inverting input stage. The horizontal dash-dot line on the lower plot is meant to indicate the frequency at which the boost stages eat up 60 degrees of phase, which tells us if we can meet the 30 degree PM requirement.
In solid lines on Attachment #1, I have plotted the analogous TFs, with the following changes:
These changes will allow possibly two super boosts to be engaged if we can bump up the CARM UGF to ~15 kHz. We sacrifice some DC gain - I have not yet done the noise analysis of the full CARM loop, but it may be that we don't need 120 dB gain at DC to be sensing noise limited. I suppose the pole frequencies can also be halved if we want to keep the same low frequency gain. In any case, in the current form, we can't access all that gain anyways because we can't enable the boosts without the loop going unstable.
The input referred noise gets worse by a factor of 2 as a result of these changes, but the IN1 gain stage noise is maybe already higher? If this sounds like a reasonable plan, I'll implement it the next time I'm in the lab.