I am currently working on an optical arrangement consisting of a QPD that measures the fluctuations of an incoming HeNe laser beam that is reflected by a mirror. The goal is to add a second QPD to the optical arrangement to form a linear combination that effectively cancels out the (angular) fluctuations from the laser beam itself so that we can only focus on the fluctuations produced by the mirror.
In order to solve this problem, I have written a program for calculating the different contributions of the fluctuations of the HeNe laser and fluctuations from the mirror, for each QPD (program script attached). The goal of the program is to find the optimal combination of L0, L1, L2, and f2 that cancels the fluctuations from the laser beam (while retaining solely the fluctuations from the mirror) when adding the fluctuations of QPD 1 and QPD 2 together.
By running this program for different combinations of distances and focal lengths, I have found that the following values should work to cancel out the effects of the oscillations from the HeNe laser beam (assuming a focal length of 0.2 m for the lens in front of the original QPD):
L0 = 1.0000 m (distance from laser tube to mirror)
L1 = 0.8510 m (distance from mirror to lens in front of QPD 1)
L2 = 0.9319 m (distance from beamsplitter to lens in front of QPD 2)
f2 = 0.3011 m (focal length of lens in front of QPD 2)
Based on these calculations, I propose to try the following lens for QPD 2:
1’’ UV Fused Silica Plano-Convex Lens, AR-Coated: 350 - 700 nm (focal length 0.3011 m). https://www.thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=6508
The schematic of the homodyne configuration is shown below.
Following are the list of components
One set of fiber is now kept along the arm of the interferometer
Fiber coupled (3 No's)
Free space ( 2 No's)
Attachment #1 shows the schematic of the test setup. Signal generator (Marconi) was used to supply the RF input. We observed the IF output in the following three test conditions.
We characterized the power splitter ( Minicircuit- ZAPD-2-252-S+). The schematic of the measurement setup is shown in attachment #1. The network/spectrum/impedance analyzer (Agilent 4395A) was used in the network analyzer mode for the characterisation. The RF output is enabled in the network analyser mode. We used an other spliiter (Power splitter #1) to splitt the RF power such that one part goes to the network analzer and the other part goes to the power spliiter (Power splitter #2) . We are characterising power splitter #2 in this test. The characterisation results and comparison with the data sheet values are shown in Attachment # 2-4.
Attachment #2 : Comparison of total loss in port 1 and 2
Attachment #3 : Comparison of amplitude unbalance
Attachment #4 : Comparison of phase unbalance
The goal was to characterise the new amplifier (AP1053). For a practice, I did the characterisation of the old amplifier.This test is similar to that reported in Elog ID 13602.
Attachment #1 shows the schematic of the experimental setup for the frequency noise measurement of 1 um laser source.
AUX laser will be used as the seed source and it is already coupled to a 60 m fiber (PM980). The other end of the fiber was at the AS table and we have now removed it and placed in the PSL table.
Attachment # 2 shows the photograph of the experimental setup. The orange line shows the beam that is coupled to the delayed arm of MZI and the red dotted line shows the undelayed path.
As mentioned, AUX is already coupled to the 60 m fiber and the other end of the fiber is now moved to the PSL table. This end needs to be collimated. We are planning to take the same collimator from AS table where it was coupled into before. The position where the collimator to be installed is shown in attachment #2. Also, we need to rotate the mirror (as indicated in attachment #2) to get the delayed beam along with the undelayed beam and then to combine them. As indicated in attachment #2, we can install one more photo diode to perform balanced detection.
We need to decide on which photodetector to be used. It could be NF1801 or PDA255.
We also performed the power measurement at different locations in the beam path. The different locations at which power measurement is done is shown attachment #3
There is an AOM in the beam path that coupled to the delayed arm of MZI. The output beam after AOM was coupled to the zero-order port during this measurement. That is the input voltage to the AOM was at 0 V, which essentially says that the beam after the AOM is not deflected and it is coupled to the zero-order port. The power levels measured at different locations in this condition are as follows. A)282 mW B)276 mW C)274 mW D)274 mW E)273 mW F)278 mW G)278 mW H)261 mW I)263 mW J)260 mW K)131 mW L)128 mW M)127 mW N)130 mW
It can be seen that the power is halved from J to K. This because of a neutral density filter in the path of the beam
In this case, we measured a power of 55 mW at the output of the delayed fiber. We then adjusted the input voltage to the AOM driver to 1 V such that the output of AOM is coupled to the first order port. This reduced the power level in the zero-order port of AOM that is coupled to the delayed arm of the MZI. In this case we measured a power of 0.8 mW at the output of delayed fiber.
We must be careful about the power level that is reaching the photodetector such that it should not exceed the damage threshold of the detector.
The power measured at the output of undelayed path is 0.8 mW.
We also must place the QWP and HWP in the beam path to align the polarisation.
To facilitate the 1um MZ frequency stabilization project, I decided that the AUX laser was a better candidate than any of the other 3 active NPROs in the lab as (i) it is already coupled into a ~60m long fiber, (ii) the PSL table has the most room available to set up the readout optics for the delayed/non-delayed beams and (iii) this way I can keep working on the IR ALS system in parallel. So we moved the end of the fiber from the AS table to the SE corner of the PSL table. None of the optics mode-matching the AUX beam to the interferometer were touched, and we do not anticipate disturbing the input coupling into the fiber either, so it should be possible to recover the AUX beam injection into the IFO relatively easily.
Anjali is going to post detailed photos, beam layout, and her proposed layout/MM solutions later today. The plan is to use free space components for everything except the fiber delay line, as we have these available readily. It is not necessarily the most low-noise option, but for a first pass, maybe this is sufficient and we can start building up a noise budget and identify possible improvements.
The AUX laser remians in STANDBY mode for now. HEPA was turned up while working at the PSL table, and remains on high while Anjali works on the layout.
One of the main draw backs of the measurement was the polarisation was not aligned properly in the setup. So, then the next step was to identify the polarisation at different locations in the beam path and to maximise the polarisation to either S or P component.
So, we introduced HWP at the input beam path after isolator as shown in attachment #1. Also, the polarisation was tested at positions P1, P2, P3, and P4 shown in attachment #1 by placing a polarisation beam splitter at these locations and then by observing the transmitted (P component) and reflected light (S component) using power meter.
The observations at different locations are as the follows
These observations show that the P and S components are almost equal, and this is not a good polarisation arrangement. At this point, we also had to check whether the incoming beam is linearly polarised or not.
To test the same, the PBS was placed at position P1 and the P and S components were observed with power meter as the HWP is rotated.Attachment # 2 shows the results of the same, that is the variation in P and S component as the HWP is rotated.
This result clearly shows that the input beam is linearly polarised. The HWP was then adjusted such that the P component is maximum and coupled to the MZI. With this orientation of HWP, the polarisation observed at different positions P1, P2, P3, and P4 are as follows.
This shows that the polarisation is linearly polarised as well as it is oriented along the P direction (parallel to the optical table).
We have the polarisation maintaining fiber (PM 980) as the delay fiber. The polarisation of the light as it propagates through a PM fiber depends on how well the input beam is coupled to the axis (slow or fast) of the fiber. So, the next task was to couple the light to one of the axes of the fiber.
The alignment key on the fiber is a good indication of the axis of the fiber. In our case, the alignment key lines up with the slow axis of the fiber. We decided to couple the light to the fast axis of the fiber. Since the incoming beam is P polarised, the output fiber coupler was aligned such that the fast axis is parallel to optical table as possible.
A PBS was then introduced after the fiber output collimator . There is a HWP (marked as HWP2 in attachment 1) in front of the input coupler of the fiber as well. This HWP was then rotated and observed the P and S component from the PBS that is now placed after the output coupler with a power meter.The idea was , when the light is coupled to the fast axis of the fiber, we will see the maximum at the P componet at the output
Attachment # 3 shows the observation.
In this way I tried to find the orientation of the HWP2 such that the P component is maximum at the output. But I was not succeeded in this method and observed that the output was fluctuating when the fiber was disturbed. One doubt we had was whether the fiber is PM or not . Thus we checked the fiber end with fiber microscope and confirmed that it is PM fiber.
Thus, we modifed the setup as shown in attachement # 4.The photodetector (PDA55) was monitoring the S component and the output of the detector was observed on an oscilloscope. We rotated the HWP2 such that the S component is almost minimum. At the same time, we were disturbing the fiber and was observing whether the output is fluctuating. The HWP2 angle was tweaked around the minimum of S component and observed the output with disturbing the fiber. This way we found the orientation of HWP2 such that the light is coupled to the fast axis of the fiber and the output was not fluctuating while we disturb the fiber. We tested it by heating the fiber with a heat gun as well and confirmed that the output is not fluctuating and thus the light is coupled to the fast axis of the fiber.
Steve had showed me some stock of long fibers a while back - they are from Oz Optics, and are 50m long, and are already spooled - so barring objections, we will try the MZ setup with the spooled fiber and see if there is any improvement in the fringing rate of the MZ. Then we can evaluate what additional stabilization of the fiber length is required. Anjali will upload a photo of the spooled fiber.
The alignement was disturbed after the replcement of the beam splitter. We tried to get the alignment back . But we are not succeeded yet in getting good interfernce pattern. This is mainly because of poor mode matching of two beams. We will also try with the spooled fiber.