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ID Date Author Type Categorydown Subject
  13889   Thu May 24 19:41:28 2018 gautamConfigurationALSBeathMouth reinstalled on PSL table


  • DC light power incident on beat PD is ~400uW from the PSL and ~300uW from EX.
  • These numbers are consistent with measured mating sleeve and fiber coupler losses.
  • However, I measure an RF beatnote of 80mVpp (= -18dBm). This corresponds to a mode matching efficiency of ~15%, assuming InGaAs efficiency of 0.65A/W.

I find this hard to believe.


  • I took this opportunity to clean the fiber tips on the PSL table going into the BeatMouth.
  • PSL light power going into the BeatMouth is 2.6mW. Of which ~400uW reaches the Beat PD (measured using my new front panel monitor port).
  • Similarly, 1mW of EX light reaches the PSL table, of which ~300uW reaches the Beat PD.
  • The RF amplifier gain is 20dB, and RF transimpedance is 50 ohms.
  • Using the (electrical) 20dB coupled port on the front panel, I measured a beat signal with 8mVpp. So the actual beat note signal is 80mVpp.


As I see it, the possibilities are:

  1. My measurement technique/calculation is wrong.
  2. The beat PD is broken has optoelectronic different that is significantly different from specifications.
  3. The non-PM fiber lengths inside the beat box result in ~15% overlap between the PSL and EX beams. Morever, there is insignificant variation in the electrical beat amplitude as monitored on the control room analyzer. So there is negligible change in the polarization state inside the BeatMouth.

I guess #3 can be tested by varying the polarization content of one of the input beams through 90 degrees.

  13890   Thu May 24 20:31:03 2018 gautamConfigurationALSDFD noises

A couple of months ago, I took 21 measurements of the delay line transfer function. As shown in Attachment #2, the unwrapped phase is more consistent with a cable length closer to 45m rather than 50m (assuming speed of light is 0.75c in the cable, as the datasheet says it is).

Attachment #1 shows the TF magnitude for the same measurements. There are some ripples consistent with reflections, so something in this system is not impedance matched. I believe I used the same power splitter to split the RF source between delayed and undelayed paths to make these TFs as is used in the current DFD setup to split the RF beatnote.


I had made some TF measurements of the delay sometime ago, need to dig up the data and see what number that measurement yields.

  13955   Wed Jun 13 12:21:09 2018 gautamUpdateALSPDFR laser checkout

I want to use the Fiber Coupled laser from the PDFR system to characterize the response of the fiber coupled PDs we use in the BeatMouth. The documentation is pretty good: for a first test, I did the following in this order:

  • Removed the input fiber to the 1x16 splitter located in the rack near the OMC chamber.
  • Connected aforementioned fiber to a collimator.
  • Aligned the output of the collimator onto a razor beam dump.
  • Turned on the laser controller - it came on with a TEC temperature of 22.5 C and I_diode 0 mA, and the "output shorted" LED was ON (red).
  • Turned up the diode current to 80 mA, since the "threshold current" is stated as 75 mA in the manual. In fact, I could see a beam using an IR card at 30 mA already.
  • At 80mA, I measured 3.5 mW of output power using the Ophir.

Seems like stuff is working as expected. I don't know what the correct setpoint for the TEC is, but once that is figured out, the 1x16 splitter should give me 250 uW from each output for 4mW input. This is well below any damage threshold of the Menlo PDs. Then the plan is to modulate the intensity of the diode laser using the Agilent, and measure the optoelectronic response of the PD in the usual way. I don't know if we have a Fiber coupled Reference Photodiode we can use in the way we use the NF1611 in the Jenne laser setup. If not, the main systematic measurement error will come from the power measurement using a Fiber Power Meter.

  13957   Wed Jun 13 22:07:31 2018 gautamUpdateALSBeatMouth PDFR measurement


Neither of the Menlo FPD310 fiber coupled PDs in the beat mouth have an optoelectronic response (V/W) as advertised. This possibly indicates a damaged RF amplification stage inside the PD.


I have never been able to make the numbers work out for the amount of DC light I put on these PDs, and how much RF beat power I get out. Today, I decided to measure the PD response directly.


In the end, I decided that slightly modifying the Jenner laser setup was the way to go, instead of futzing around with the PDFR laser. These PDs have a switchable gain setting - for this measurement, both were set to the lower gain such that the expected optoelectronic response is 409 V/W.

[Attachment #1] - Sketch of the experimental setup. 

[Attachment #2] - Measured TF responses, the RF modulation was -20dBm for all curves. I varied the diode laser DC current a little to ensure I recovered identical transfer functions. Assumptions used in making these plots:

  1. NF1611 and FPD310 have equal amounts of power incident on them.
  2. The NF1611 transimpedance is 700V/A.

[Attachment #3] - Tarball of data + script used to make Attachment #2.


  • The FPD310 does not have a DC monitor port. 
    • So the dominant uncertainty in these plots is that I don't know how much power was incident on the PD under test.
    • The NF1611 DC power level could be measured though, and seemed to scale with DC pump current linearly (I had only 3 datapoints though so this doesn't mean much).
  • Neither PD has transimpedance gain as per the specs.
    • The X PD shows levels ~x10 lower than expected.
    • The Y PD shows levels ~x3 lower than expected.
  • I will repeat the measurement tomorrow by eliminating some un-necessary patch fiber cables, and also calibrating out the cable delays.
    • The setup shown in Attachment #1 was used because I didn't want to open up the BeatMouth.
    • But I can pipe the port of the BS not going to the FPD310 directly to the collimator, and that should reduce the systematic uncertainty w.r.t. power distribution between FPD310 and NF1611.
  13973   Fri Jun 15 14:22:05 2018 gautamUpdateALSBeatMouth PDFR measurement

I did the measurement with the BeatMouth open today. Main changes:

  • Directly pipe the RF output of the Menlo PDs to the Agilent, bypassing the 20dB coupler inside the BeatMouth.
  • Directly pipe the unused port of the Fiber Beamsplitter used to send light to the Menlo PD to an in-air collimator, which then sends the beam to the NF1611 reference detector.

So neglecting asymmetry in the branching ratio of the fiber beamsplitter, the asymmetry between the test PD optical path and the reference PD optical path is a single fiber mating sleeve in the former vs a collimator in the latter. In order to recover the expected number of 409 V/W for the Menlo PDs, we have to argue that the optical loss in the test PD path (fiber mating sleeve) are ~3x higher than in the NF1611 path (free space coupler). But at least the X and Y PDs show identical responses now. The error I made in the previously attached plot was that I was using the 20dB coupled output for the X PD measurement indecision.

Revised conclusion: The measured optoelectronic response of the Menlo PDs at 10s of MHz, of ~130 V/W, is completely consistent with the numbers I reported in this elog. So rogue polarization is no longer the culprit for the discrepancy between expected and measured RF beatnote power, it was just that the expectation, based on Menlo PD specs, were not accurate.#2 of the linked elog seems to be the most likely, although "broken" should actually be "not matching spec".

While killing time b/w measurements, I looked on the ITMY optical table and found that the NF1611 I mentioned in this elog still exists. It is fiber coupled. Could be a better substitute as a Reference PD for this particular measurement.


I will repeat the measurement tomorrow by eliminating some un-necessary patch fiber cables, and also calibrating out the cable delays.

  • The setup shown in Attachment #1 was used because I didn't want to open up the BeatMouth.
  • But I can pipe the port of the BS not going to the FPD310 directly to the collimator, and that should reduce the systematic uncertainty w.r.t. power distribution between FPD310 and NF1611.
  14468   Wed Feb 20 23:55:51 2019 gautamUpdateALSALS delay line electronics


Last year, I worked on the ALS delay line electronics, thinking that we were in danger of saturation. The analysis was incorrect. I find that for RF signal levels between -10 dBm and +15 dBm, assuming 3dB insertion loss due to components and 5 dB conversion loss in the mixer, there is no danger of saturation in the I/F part of the circuit.


The key is that the MOSFET mixer used in the demodulation circuit drives an I/F current and not voltage. The I-to-V conversion is done by a transimpedance amplifier and not a voltage amplifier. The confusion arose from interpreting the gain of the first stage of the I/F amplifier as 1 kohm/10 ohm = 100. The real figures of merit we have to look at are the current through, and voltage across, the transimpedance resistor.  So I think we should revert to the old setup. This analysis is consistent with an actual test I did on the board, details of which may be found here.

We may still benefit from some whitening of the signal before digitization between 10-100 Hz, need to check what is an appropriate place in the signal chain to put in some whitening, there are some constraints to the circuit topology because of the MOSFET mixer.

One part of the circuit topology I'm still confused by is the choice of impedance-matching transformer at the RF-input of this demod board - why is a 75 ohm part used instead of a 50 ohm part? Isn't this going to actually result in an impedance mismatch given our RG405 cabling?

Update: Having pulled out the board, it looks like the input transformer is an ADT-1-1, and NOT an ADT1-1WT as labelled on the schematic. The former is indeed a 50ohm part. So it makes sense to me now.

Since we have the NF1611 fiber coupled PDs, I'm going to try reviving the X arm ALS to check out what the noise is after bypassing the suspect Menlo PDs we were using thus far. My re-analysis can be found in the attached zip of my ipynb (in PDF form).

  14475   Thu Mar 7 01:06:38 2019 gautamUpdateALSALS delay line electronics


The restoration of the delay-line electronics is complete. The chassis has not been re-installed yet, I will put it back in tomorrow. I think the calculations and measurements are in good agreement.


Apart from restoring the transimpedance of the I/F amplifier, I also had to replace the two differential-sending AD8672s in the RF Log detector circuit for both LO and RF paths in the ALS-X board. I performed the same tests as I did the last time on the electronics bench, results will be uploaded to the DCC page for the 40m version of the board. I think the board is performing as advertised, although there is some variation in the noise of the two pairs of I/Q readouts. Sticking with the notation of the HP Application Note for delay line frequency discriminators, here are some numebrs for our delay line system:

  • K_{\phi} = 3.7 \ \mathrm{V/rad}  - measured by driving the LO/RF inputs with Fluke/Marconi at 7dBm/0dBm (which are the expected signal levels accounting for losses between the BeatMouth and the demodulator) and looking at the Vpp of the resulting I/F beat signal on a scope. This is assuming we use the differential output of the demodulator (divide by 2 if we use the single-ended output instead).
  • \tau_d = \frac{45 \ \mathrm{m}}{0.75c} \approx 0.2 \mu s [see measurement]
  • K_{d} = K_{\phi}2 \pi \tau_{d} \approx 4 \mu \mathrm{V/Hz} (to be confirmed by measurement by driving a known FM signal with the Marconi)
  • Assuming 1mW of light on our beat PDs and perfect contrast, the phase noise due to shot noise is \pi \sqrt{2\bar{P}\frac{hc}{\lambda}} / 1 \ \mathrm{mW} \approx 60 \ \mathrm{nrad /}\sqrt{\mathrm{Hz}}which is ~ 5 orders of magnitude lower than the electronics noise in equivalent frequency noise at 100 Hz.
  • The noise due to the FET mixer seems quite complicated to calculate - but as a lower bound, the Johnson current noise due to the 182 ohms at each RF input is ~ 10 pA/rtHz. With a transimpedance gain of 1 kohm, this corresponds to ~10 nV/rtHz. 

In conclusion: the ALS noise is very likely limited by ADC noise (~1 Hz/rtHz frequency noise for 5uV/rtHz ADC noise). We need some whiteningWhy whiten the demodulated signal instead of directly incorporating the whitening into the I/F amplifier input stage? Because I couldn't find a design that satisfies all the following criteria (this was why my previous design was flawed):

  1. The commutating part of the FET mixer must be close to ground potential always.
  2. The loading of the FET mixer is mostly capacitive.
  3. The DC gain of the I/F amplifier is low, with 20-30dB gain at 100 Hz, and then rolled off again at high frequencies for stability and sum-frequency rejection. In fact, it's not even obvious to me that we want a low DC gain - the quantity K_{\phi} is directly proportional to the DC transimpedance gain, and we want that to be large for more sensitive frequency discriminating.

So Rich suggested separating the transimpedance and whitening operations. The output noise of the differential outputs of the demodulator unit is <100 nV/rtHz at 100 Hz, so we should be able to saturate that noise level with a whitening unit whose input referred noise level is < 100 nV/rtHz. I'm going to see if there are any aLIGO whitening board spares - the existing whitening boards are not a good candidate I think because of the large DC signal level.

  14477   Tue Mar 12 22:51:25 2019 gautamUpdateALSALS delay line electronics

This Hanford alog may be of relevance as we are using the aLIGO AA chassis for the IR ALS channels. We aren't expecting any large amplitude high frequency signals for this application, but putting this here in case it's useful someday.

  14478   Wed Mar 13 01:27:30 2019 gautamUpdateALSALS delay line electronics

This test was done, and I determine the frequency discriminant to be \approx 5 \mu \mathrm{V}/\mathrm{Hz} (for an RF signal level of ~2 dBm). 

Attachment #1: Measured and predicted value of the DFD discriminant for a few RF signal levels.

  • Methodology was to drive an FM (deviation = 25 Hz, fMod = 221 Hz, fCarrier ~ 40 MHz) with the Marconi, and look at the IF spectrum peak height on a SR785
  • The "Design" curve is calculated using the circuit parameters, assuming 4dB conversion loss in the mixer itself, and 3dB insertion loss due to various impedance matching transformers and couplers in the RF signal chain. I fudged the insertion/convertion loss numbers to get this curve to line up with the measurements (by eye).
  • For the measurement, I assume the value for FM deviation displayed on the Marconi is an RMS value (this is the best I can gather from the manual). I'll double checking by looking at the RFmon spectrum directly on the Agilent NA.
  • X axis calibrated by reading off from the RF power monitor using a DMM and using the calibration data from the bench.
  • I could never get the ratio of peak heights in Ichan/Qchan (or the other way around) to better than ~ 1/8 (by moving the carrier frequency around). Not sure I can explain that - small non-orthogonality between I and Q channels cannot explain this level of leakage.

Attachment #2: Measured noise spectrum in the 1Y2 (LSC) electronics rack, calibrated to Hz/rtHz using the discriminant from Attachment #1.

  • Something funky with the I channel for X, I'll re-take that spectrum.

I'm still waiting on some parts for the new BeatMouth before giving the whole system a whirl. In the meantime, I'll work on the EX and EY green setups, to try and improve the mode-matching and better characterize the expected suppressed frequency noise of the end NPROs - the goal here is to rule out the excess low-frequency noise that was seen in the ALS signals coming from unsuppressed frequency noise.

Bottom lines: 

  1. The DFD noise is at the level of ~ 10mHz/rtHz above 10 Hz. This justifies the need for whitening before ADC-ing.
  2. The measured signal/noise levels in the DFD chain are in good agreement with the "expected" levels from circuit component values and typical insertion/conversion loss values.
  3. Why are there so many 60 Hz harmonics???
  14479   Thu Mar 14 23:26:47 2019 AnjaliUpdateALSALS delay line electronics

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.

  1. Observed the spectrum with FM modulation (fcarrier of 40 MHz and fmod of 221 Hz )- a peak at 221 Hz was observed.
  2. Observed the noise spectrum without FM modulation.
  3. Observed the noise spectrum after disconnecting the delayed output of the delay line. 
  • It is observed that the broad band noise level is higher without FM modulation (2) compared to that we observed after disconnecting the delayed output of the delay line (3).
  • It is also observed that the noise level is increasing with increase in RF input power. 
  • We need to find the reason for increase in broad band noise .
  14480   Sun Mar 17 00:42:20 2019 gautamUpdateALSNF1611 cannot be shot-noise limited?


Per the manual (pg12) of the NF 1611 photodiode, the "Input Noise Current" is 16 pA/rtHz. It also specifies that for "Linear Operation", the max input power is 1 mW, which at 1um corresponds to a current shot noise of ~14 pA/rtHz. Therefore,

  1. This photodiode cannot be shot-noise limited if we also want to stay in the spec-ed linear regime.
  2. We don't need to worry so much about the noise figure of the RF amplifier that follows the photodiode. In fact, I think we can use a higher gain RF amplifier with a slightly worse noise figure (e.g. ZHL-3A) as we will benefit from having a larger frequency discriminant with more RF power reaching the delay line.


Attachment #1: Here, I plot the expected voltage noise due to shot noise of the incident light, assuming 0.75 A/W for InGaAs and 700V/A transimpedance gain. 

  • For convenience, I've calibrated on the twin axes the current shot noise (X) and equivalent amplifier noise figure at a given voltage noise, assuming a 50 ohm system (Y).
  • The 16 pA/rtHz input current noise exceeds the shot noise contribution for powers as high as 1 mW.
  • Even at 0.5 mW power on the PD, we can use the ZHL-3A rather than the Teledyne:
    • This calculation was motivated by some suspicious features in the Teledyne amplifier gain, I will write a separate elog about that. 
    • For the light levels we have, I expect ~3dBm RF signal from the photodiode. With the 24dB of gain from the ZHL-3A, the signal becomes 27dBm, which is smaller (but close to) the spec-ed max output of the ZHL-3A, which is 29.5 dBm. Is this too close to the edge?
    • I will measure the gain/noise of the ZHL-3A to get a better answer to these questions.
  • If in the future we get a better photodiode setup that reaches sub-1nV/rtHz (dark/electronics) voltage noise, we may have to re-evaluate what is an appropriate RF amplifier.
  14481   Sun Mar 17 13:35:39 2019 AnjaliUpdateALSPower splitter characterization

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

  • From the data sheet: the splitter is wideband, 5 to 2500 MHz, useable from 0.5 to 3000 MHz. We performd the measurement from 1 MHz to 500 MHz (limited by the band width of the network analyzer).
  • It can be seen from attachment #2 and #4 that there is a sudden increase below ~11 MHz. The reason for this is not clear to me
  • The mesured total loss value for port 1 and port 2 are slightly higher than that specified in the data sheet.From the data sheet, the maximum loss in port 1 and port 2 in the range at 450 MHz are 3.51 dB and 3.49 dB respectively. The measured values are 3.61 dB and 3.59 dB respectively for port 1 and port 2, which is higher than the values mentioed in the data sheet. It can also be seen from attachment #1 (b) that the expected trend in total loss with frequency is that the loss is decreasing with increase in frequency and we are observing the opposite trend in the frequency range 11-500 MHz. 
  • From the data sheet, the maximum amplitude balance in the 5 MHz-500 MHz range is 0.02 dB and the measured maximum value is 0.03 dB
  • Similary for the phase unbalance, the maximum value specified by the data sheet in the 5 MHz- 500 MHz range is 0.12 degree and the measurement shows a phase unbalance upto 0.7 degree in this frequency range
  • So the observations shows that the measured values are slighty higher than that specified in the data sheet values.
  14482   Sun Mar 17 21:06:17 2019 AnjaliUpdateALSAmplifier characterisation

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 setup for gain characterisation and Attachment #2 shows the results of gain characterisation. 
  • The gain measurement is comparable with the previous results. From the data sheet, 10 dB gain is guaranteed in the frequency range 10-450 MHz. From our observation, the gain is not flat pver this region. We have measured a maximum gain of 10.7 dB at 6 MHz and it has then decreased upto 8.5 dB at 500 MHz
  • Attachement #3 shows the schematic of the setup for the noise characterisation and Attachment # 4 shows the results of noise measurment. 
  • The noise measurement doesn't look fine. We probably have to repeat this measurement.
  14486   Mon Mar 18 20:22:28 2019 gautamUpdateALSALS stability test

I'm running a test to see how stable the EX green lock is. For this purpose, I've left the slow temperature tuning servo on (there is a 100 count limiter enabled, so nothing crazy should happen).

  14498   Thu Mar 28 19:40:02 2019 gautamUpdateALSBeatMouth with NF1611s assembled


The parts I was waiting for arrived. I finished the beat mouth assembly, and did some characterization. Everything looks to be working as expected.


Attachment #1: Photo of the front panel. I am short of two fiber mating sleeves that are compatible with PM fibers, but those are just for monitoring, so not critical to the assembly at this stage. I'll ask Chub to procure these.

Attachment #2: Photo of the inside of the BeatMouth. I opted to use the flexible RG-316 cables for all the RF interconnects. Rana said these aren't the best option, remains to be seen if interference between cables is an issue. If so, we can replace them with RG-58. I took the opportunity to give each fiber beam splitter its own spool, and cleaned all the fiber tips.

Attachment #3: Transfer function measurement. The PDFR setup behind 1X5/1X6 was used. I set the DC current to the laser to 30.0 mA (as read off the display of the current source), which produced ~400uW of light at the fiber coupled output of the diode laser. This was injected into the "PSL" input coupler of the BeatMouth, and so gets divided down to ~100 uW by the time it reaches the PDs. From the DC monitor values (~430mV), the light hitting the PDs is actually more consistent with 60uW, which is in agreement with the insertion loss of the fiber beamsplitters, and the mating sleeves.

The two responses seem reasonably well balanced (to within 20% - do we expect this to be better?). Even though judging by the DC monitor, there was more light incident on the Y PD than on the X PD, the X response was actually stronger than the Y. 

I also took the chance to do some other tests:

  • Inject light into the "X(Y)-ARM" input coupler of the Beat Mouth - confirmed that only the X(Y) NF1611's DC monitor output showed any change. The DC light level was ~1V in this condition, which again is consistent with expected insertion losses as compared to the "PSL" input case, there is 1 less fiber beamsplitter and mating sleeve.
  • Injected light into each of the input couplers, looked at the interior of the BeatMouth with an IR viewer for evidence of fiber damage, and saw none. Note that we are not doing anything special to dump the light at the unused leg of the fiber beamsplitter (which will eventually be a monitor port). Perhaps, nominally, this port should be dumped in some appropriate way.

Attachment #4: Dark Noise analysis. I used a ZHL-500-HLN+ to boost the PD's dark noise above the AG4395's measurement noise floor. The measured noise level seems to suggest either (i) the input-referred current noise of the PD circuitry is a little lower than the spec of 16 pA/rtHz (more like 13 pA/rtHz) or (ii) the transimpedance is lower than the spec of 700 V/A (more like 600 V/A). Probably some combination of the two. Seems reasonable to me.

Next steps:

The optical part of the ALS detection setup is now complete. The next step is to measure the ALS noise with this sysytem. I will use the X arm for this purpose (I'd like to make the minor change of switching the existing resistive power splitter at the delay line to the newly acquired splitters which have 3dB lower insertion loss). 

  14502   Fri Mar 29 21:00:06 2019 gautamUpdateALSBeatMouth with NF1611s installed
  • Newfocus 15V current limited supply was taken from bottom NE corner of the ITMY Oplev table to power the BeatMouth on the PSL table
  • BeatMouth was installed on top shelf on PSL table [Attachment #1].
  • Light levels in fibers were checked:
    • PSL: initially, only ~200uW / 4mW was coupled in. This was improved to 2.6mW/4mW (~65% MM) which was deemed sufficient for a first test), by tweaking the alignment of, and into the collimator.
    • EX: ~900uW measured at the PSL table. I remember the incident power being ~1mW. So this is pretty good.
  • Fibers hooked up to BeatMouth:
    • EX light only, DC mon of X PD reads -2.1V.
    • With PSL light, I get -4.6 V.
    • For these numbers, with the DC transimpedance of 10kohm and the RF transimpedance of 700 ohm, I expect a beat of ~0dBm
  • DC light level stability is being monitored by a temporarily hijacked PSL NPRO diagnostic Acromag channel. Main motivation is to confirm that the alignment to the special axes of the PM fibers is still good and we aren't seeing large tempreature-driven waveplate effects.
  • RF part of the circuit is terminated into 50ohms for now -
    • there is still a quesiton as to what is the correct RF amplifier to use in sending the signal to the 1Y3 rack.
    • An initial RF beat power level measurement yielded -5dBm, which is inconsistent with the DC monitor voltages, but I'm not sure what frequency the beat was at, will make a more careful measurement with a scope or the network analyzer.
    • We want the RF pre-amp to be:
      • Low noise, keeping this in mind
      • High enough gain to boost the V/Hz discriminant of the electronic delay line
      • Not too high gain that we run into compression / saturate some of the delay line electronics - specifically, the LO input of the LSC demod board has a Teledyne amp in the signal chain, and so we need to ensure the signal level there is <16dBm (nominal level is 10dBm).
      • I'm evaluating options...
  • At 1Y3:
    • I pulled out the delay-line enclosure, and removed the (superglued) resistive power splitters with the help of some acetone
    • The newly acquired power splitters (ZAPD-2-252-S+) were affixed to the front panel, in which I made some mounting holes.
    • The new look setup, re-installed at 1Y3, is shown in Attachment #2.
  14503   Sun Mar 31 15:05:53 2019 gautamUpdateALSFiber beam-splitters not PM

I looked into this a little more today.

  1. Looking at the beat signal between the PSL and EX beams from the NF1611 on a scope (50-ohm input), the signal Vpp was ~200 mV.
  2. In the time that I was poking about, the level dropped to ~150mVpp. seemed suspicious.
  3. Thinking that this has to be related to the polarization mismatch between the interfering beams, I moved the input fibers (blue in Attachment #1) around, and saw the signal amplitude went up to 300mVpp, supporting my initial hypothesis.
  4. The question remains as to where the bulk of the polarization drift is happening. I had spent some effort making sure the input coupled beam to the fiber was well-aligned to one of the special axes of the fiber, and I don't think this will have changed since (i.e. the rotational orientation of the fiber axes relative to the input beam was fixed, since we are using the K6XS mounts with a locking screw for the input couplers). So I flexed the patch cables of the fiber beam splitters inside the BeatMouth, and saw the signal go as high as 700mVpp (the expected level given the values reported by the DC monitor).

This is a problem - such large shifts in the signal level means we have to leave sufficient headroom in the choice of RF amplifier gain to prevent saturation, whereas we want to boost the signal as much as possible. Moreover, this kind of operation of tweaking the fiber seating to increase the RF signal level is not repeatable/reliable. Options as I see it:

  1. Get a fiber BS that is capable of maintaining the beam polarization all the way through to the beat photodiode. I've asked AFW technologies (the company that made our existing fiber BS parts) if they supply such a device, and Andrew is looking into a similar component from Thorlabs.
    • These parts could be costly.
  2. Mix the beams in free space. We have the beam coming from EX to the PSL table, so once we mix the two beams, we can use either a fiber or free-space PD to read out the beatnote. 
    • This approach means we lose some of the advantages of the fiber based setup (e.g. frequent alignment of the free-space MM of the two interfering beams may be required).
    • Potentially increases sensitivity to jitter noise at the free-space/fiber coupling points
    • An initial RF beat power level measurement yielded -5dBm, which is inconsistent with the DC monitor voltages, but I'm not sure what frequency the beat was at, will make a more careful measurement with a scope or the network analyzer.
  14510   Wed Apr 3 09:04:01 2019 gautamUpdateALSNote about new fiber couplers

The new fiber beam splitters we are ordering, PFC-64-2-50-L-P-7-2-FB-0.3W, have the slow axis working and fast axis blocked. The way the light is coupled into the fibers right now is done to maximize the amount of light into the fast axis. So we will have to do a 90deg rotation if we use that part. Probably the easiest thing to do is to put a HWP immediately before the free-space-to-fiber collimator.

Update 6pm: They have an "SB" version of the part with the slow axis blocked and fast axis enabled, same price, so I'll ask Chub to get it.

  14513   Wed Apr 3 12:32:33 2019 KojiUpdateALSNote about new fiber couplers

Andrew seems to have an integrated solution of PBS+HWP in a singe mount. Or, I wonder if we should use HWP/QWP before the coupler. I am interested in a general solution for this problem in my OMC setup too.

  14516   Fri Apr 5 00:33:58 2019 gautamUpdateALSPromising IR ALS noise


I set up a free-space beat on theNW side of the PSL table between the IR beam from the PSL and from EX, the latter brought to the PSL table via ~40m fiber. Initial measurements suggest very good performance, although further tests are required to be sure. Specifically, the noise below 10 Hz seems much improved.


Attachment #1 shows the optical setup. 

  • I used two identical Thorlabs F220APC collimators to couple the light back into free space, reasoning that the mode-matching would be easiest this way.
  • Only 1 spare K6Xs collimator mount was available (this has the locking nut on the rotational DoF), so I used a K6X for the other mount. The fast axis of the Panda fibers were aligned as best as possible to p-polarization on the table by using the fact that the connector key is aligned to the slow axis.
  • I cut the power coupled into the PSL fiber from ~2.6mW to ~880uW (using a HWP + PBS combo before the input coupling to the fiber) to match the power from EX.
  • The expected signal level from these powers and the NF1611 transimpedance of 700 V/A is ~320 mVpp. After alignment tweaking, I measured ~310mVpp (~ -5dBm) into a 50 ohm input on a scope, so the mode-matching which means the polarization matching and mode overlap between the PSL and EX beams are nearly optimal.
  • To pipe the signal to the delay line electronics, I decided to use the ZHL-3A (G=27dB, 1dB compression at 29.5dBm per spec), so the signal level at the DFD rack was expected (and confirmed via 50 ohm input on o'scope) to be ~19dBm.
  • This is a lot of signal - after the insertion loss of the power splitter, there would still be ~15dBm of signal going to the (nominally 10dBm) LO input of the demod board. This path has a Teledyne AP1053 at the input, which has 10dB gain and 1dBm compression at 26dBm per spec. To give a bit of headroom, I opted on the hacky solution of inserting an attenuator (5dB) in this path - a better solution needs to be implemented.
  • The differential outputs of the demod board go to the CDS system via an AA board (there is no analog whitening).

Yehonathan came by today so I had to re-align the arms and recover POX/POY locking. This alllowed me to lock the X arm length to the PSL frequency, and lock the EX green laser to the X arm length. GTRX was ~0.36, whereas I know it can be as high as 0.5, so there is definitely room to improve the EX frequency noise suppression.

Attachment #2 shows the ALS out-of-loop noise for the PSL+X combo. The main improvements compared to this time last year are electronic. 

  • The failed experiment of making custom I/F amplifier was abandoned and Rich Abbott's original design was reverted to. 
  • New power splitter was installed with 3dB less insertion loss.
  • According to the RF path level monitor, the signal level at the RF input to the demod board is ~10dBm. Per my earlier characterization, this will give us the pretty beefy frequency discriminant of ~15uV/Hz.
  • I estimate the frequency noise of the detection electronics + ADC noise now translate to 1/3 the frequency noise compared to the old system. With some analog whitening, this can be made even better, the electronics noise of the DFD electronics (~50nV/rtHz) is estimated to be <10mHz/rtHz equivalent frequency noise. 
  • Note that the calibration from phase-tracker-servo to units of Hz (~14 kHz / degree) was not changed in the digital system - this should only be a property of the delay line length, and hence, should not have changed as a result of the various electronics changes to the demod board and other electronics.

Next steps:

  • Improve pointing of green beam into X arm cavity.
  • I plan to recover the green beat note as well and digitize it using the second available DFD channel (eventually for the Y arm) - then we can simultaneously compare the the green and IR performance (though they will have different noise floors as there is less green light on the green beat PDs, and I think lower transimpedance too).

Mix the beams in free space. We have the beam coming from EX to the PSL table, so once we mix the two beams, we can use either a fiber or free-space PD to read out the beatnote. 

  • This approach means we lose some of the advantages of the fiber based setup (e.g. frequent alignment of the free-space MM of the two interfering beams may be required).
  • Potentially increases sensitivity to jitter noise at the free-space/fiber coupling points
  14519   Fri Apr 5 11:49:30 2019 gautamUpdateALSPSL + X green beat recovery

Since we haven't been using it, the PID control was not enabled on the doubling oven on the PSL table (it is disabled after every power outage event in the lab). I re-enabled it just now. The setpoint according to the label on the TC200 controller is 36.9 C. The PID paramaters were P=250, I=200, D=40. These are not very good as the overshoot when I turned the control on was 44 C, seems too large. The settling time is also too long, after 10 minutes, the crystal temperature as reported by the TC200 front panel is still oscillating. I can't find anything in the elog about what the nominal PID parameter values were. The X end PID seems much better behaved so I decided to try the same PID gains as is implemented there, P=250, I=60, D=25.

With the Ophir power meter, I measured 60mW of IR light going into the doubling oven, 110uW green light coming out, for a conversion efficiency of 2.7%/W, seems pretty great.

Next, I went to EX and tweaked the steering mirror alignment - I wasn't able to improve the transmission significantly using the PZT sliders on the EPICS screen, and the dither alignment servo isn't working. It required quite a substantial common mode yaw shift of the PZT mirrors to make GTRX ~ 0.5. 


I plan to recover the green beat note as well and digitize it using the second available DFD channel (eventually for the Y arm) - then we can simultaneously compare the the green and IR performance (though they will have different noise floors as there is less green light on the green beat PDs, and I think lower transimpedance too).

  14521   Mon Apr 8 00:04:08 2019 gautamUpdateALSIR ALS noise budget

To start the noise budgeting, I decided to measure the "DFD noise", which is really the quadrature sum of the following terms:

  • ZHL-3A (RF amplifier) noise, NF ~ 6dB per spec (~ 1nV/rtHz)
  • Delay line demod board noise, ~30nV/rtHz [measurement]
  • AA board noise [measurement]
  • ADC noise

According to past characterizations of these noises, the ADC noise level, which is expected to be at the level of a few uV/rtHz, is expected to be the dominant noise source.

The measurement was made by disconnecting the NF 1611 free space photodiode from the input to the RF amplifier on the PSL table, and connecting a Marconi (f_carrier = 40 MHz, signal level=-5dBm) instead. The phase tracked output was then monitored, and the resulting digital spectrum is the red curve in Attachment #1. The blue curve is the ASD of fluctuations of the beatnote between the PSL and EX IR beams, as monitored by the DFD system, with the X arm cavity length locked to the PSL frequency via the LSC servo, and the EX green frequency locked to the X arm cavity length by the analog PDH servo. 


Assuming the Marconi frquency noise is lower than the ones being budgeted:

  1. the measured frequency noise is above the DFD noise - this needs to be budgeted.
  2. The DFD noise level is consistent with a frequency discriminant of 15 uV/rtHz and an ADC noise level of 3 uV/rtHz at high frequencies.

Next noises to budget:

  1. In-loop X arm length noise
  2. In-lop EX laser frequency noise
  14523   Mon Apr 8 18:28:25 2019 gautamUpdateALSEX Green PDH checkout

I worked on characterizing the green PDH setup at EX, as part of the ALS noise budgeting process. Summary of my findings:

  1. Green doubling efficiency is ~ 1.5 %/W (3mW of green for 450mW of IR). This is ~half of what was measured on the PSL table. There are probably large errors associated with power measurement with the Ophir power meter, but still, seems like a big mismatch.
  2. The green REFL photodiode is a Thorlabs PDA36A
    • It is being run on 30 dB gain setting, corresponding to a transimpedance of 47.5 kohm into high impedance loads. However, the PD bandwidth for this gain setting is 260 kHz according to the manual, whereas the PDH modulation sidebands on the green light are at twice the modulation frequency, i.e. ~560 kHz, so this is not ideal.
    • There was ~250 uW of green light incident on this photodiode, as measured with the Ophir power meter.
    • The DC voltage level was measured to be ~2.7 V on a scope (High-Z), which works out to ~280 uW of power, so the measurements are consistent.
    • When the cavity is locked, there is about 25% of this light incident on the PD, giving a shot noise level of ~25 nV/rtHz. The dark noise level is a little higher, at 40nV/rtHz.
    • Beam centering on the PD looked pretty good to the eye (it is a large-ish active area, ~3mmx3mm).
    • The beam does not look Gaussian at all - there are some kind of fringes visible in the vertical direction in a kind of halo around the main cavity reflection. Not sure what the noise implications of this are. I tried to capture this in a photo, see Attachment #1. Should an Iris/aperture be used to cut out some of this junk light before the reflection photodiode?
  3. The in-going beam was getting clipped on the Faraday Isolator aperture (it was low in pitch).
    • I fixed this by adjusting the upstream steering, and then moving the two PZT mounted green steering mirrors to recover good alignment to the X arm cavity.
    • GTRX level of ~0.5 was recovered.
  4. To estimate the mode-matching of the input beam to the cavity axis, I looked at the reflected light with the cavity locked, and with just the prompt reflection from the ETM:
    • DC light level on the reflection photodiode was monitored using the High-Z input o'scope.
    • Measured numbers are Plocked ~ 660 mV, Pmisaligned ~ 2.6V, giving a ratio of 0.253.
    • While locked, there was a ~ 10 Hz periodic variation in the DC light level on the green REFL photodiode - not sure what was causing this modulation.
    • However, this is inconsistent with a calculation, see Attachment #2. I assumed modulation depth of 90 mrad, round-trip loss of 100 ppm, and Titm = 1.094%, Tetm = 4.579%, numbers I pulled from the core-optics wiki page.
    • Not sure what effect I've missed out on here - to get the model to match the measurement, I have to either assume a higher cavity finesse, or a much higher round-trip loss (5000ppm), both of which seem implausible.

The main motivation was to get the residual frequency noise of the EX laser when locked to the X arm cavity - but I'll need the V/Hz PDH discriminant to convert the in-loop error signal to frequency units. The idea was to look at the PDH error signal on a scope and match up the horn-to-horn voltage with a model to back out said discriminant, but I'll have to double check my model for errors now given the large mismatch I observe in reflected power.

  14524   Mon Apr 8 23:52:09 2019 gautamUpdateALSEX Green PDH error monitor calibrated

Some time ago, I had done an actuator calibration of ITMX. This suspension hasn't been victim to the recent spate of suspension problems, so I can believe that the results of those measurement are still valid. So I decided to calibrate the in-loop error signal of the EX green PDH loop, which is recorded via an SR560, G=10, by driving a line in ITMY position (thereby modulating the X arm cavity length) while the EX green frequency was locked to the arm cavity length. Knowing the amount I'm modulating the cavity length by (500 cts amplitude sine wave at 33.14159 Hz using awggui, translating to ~17.2 kHz amplitude in green frequency), I demodulated the response in C1:ALS-X_ERR_MON_OUT_DQ channel. At this frequency of ~33 Hz, the servo gain should be large, and so the green laser frequency should track the cavity length nearly perfectly (with transfer function 1/(1+L), where L is the OLG).

The response had amplitude 5.68 +/- 0.10 cts, see Attachment #1. There was a sneaky gain of 0.86 in the filter module, which I saw no reason to keep at this strange value, and so updated to 1, correcting the demodulated response to 6.6 cts. After accounting for this adjustment, the x10 gain of the SR560, and the loop suppression, I put a "cts2Hz" filter in (Attachment #2). I had to guess a value for the OLG at 33 Hz in order to account for the in-loop suppression. So I measured the OLTF using the usual IN1/IN2 method (Attachment #3), and then used a LISO model of the electronics, along with guesses of the cavity pole (18.5 kHz), low-pass filter poles (4x real poles at 70 kHz), PZT actuator gain (1.7 MHz/V) and PDH discriminant (40 uV/Hz, see this elog) to construct a model OLTF. Then I fudged the overall gain to get the model to line up with the measurement between 1-10kHz. Per this model, I should have ~75dB of gain at ~33Hz, so the tracking error to my cavity length modulation should be ~3.05 Hz. Lines up pretty well with the measured value of 4.7 Hz considering the number of guessed parameters. The measured OLG tapers off towards low frequency probably because the increased loop suppression drives one of the measured inputs on the SR785 into the instrument noise floor.

The final calibration number is 7.1 Hz/ct, though the error on this number is large ~30%. Note that these "Hertz" are green frequency changes - so the change to the IR frequency will be half.

Attachment #4 shows the error signal in various conditions, labelled in the legend. Interpretations to follow.

  14525   Tue Apr 9 00:16:22 2019 ranaUpdateALSEX Green PDH error monitor calibrated

G=10 or G=100?

  14526   Tue Apr 9 00:18:19 2019 gautamUpdateALSEX Green PDH error monitor calibrated

wrong assumption - i checked the gain just now, it is G=10, and is running in the "low-noise" mode, so can only drive 4V. fixed elog, filter.

Note: While working at EX, I saw frequent saturations (red led blinking) on the SR560. Looking a the error mon signal on a scope, it had a pk-to-pk amplitude of ~200mV going into the SR560. Assuming the free-swinging cavity length changes by ~1 um at 1 Hz, the green frequency changes by ~15 MHz, which according to the PDH discriminant calibration of 40 uV/Hz should only make a 60 mV pk to pk signal. So perhaps the cavity length is changing by 4x as much, plausible during daytime with me stomping around the chamber I guess.. My point is that if the SR560 get's saturated (i.e. input > 13000 cts), the DQ-ed spectrum isn't trustworthy anymore. Should hook this up to some proper whitening electronics


G=10 or G=100?

  14527   Tue Apr 9 18:44:00 2019 gautamUpdateALSEX Green PDH discriminant measurement

I decided to use the more direct method, of disconnecting feedback to the EX laser PZT, and then looking at the cavity flashes. 

Attachment #1 shows the cavity swinging through two resonances (data collected via oscilloscope). Traces are for the demodulated PDH error signal (top) and the direct photodiode signal (bottom). The traces don't look very clean - I wonder if some saturation / slew rate effects are at play, because we are operating the PD in the 30 dB setting, where the bandwidth of the PD is spec-ed as 260 kHz, whereas the dominant frequency component of the light on the PD is 430 kHz.

The asymmetric horns corresponding to the sideband resonances were also puzzling. Doing the modeling, Attachment #2, I think this is due to the fact that the demodulation phase is poorly set. The PDH modulation frequency is only ~5x the cavity linewidth, so both the real and imaginary parts of the cavity reflectivity contribute to the error signal. If this calculation is correct, we can benefit (i.e. get a larger PDH discriminant) by changing the demod phase by 60 degrees. However, for 230 kHz, it is impractical to do this by just increasing cable length between the function generator and mixer.

Anyway, assuming that we are at the phi=30 degree situation (since the measurement shows all 3 horns going through roughly the same voltage swing), the PDH discriminant is ~40 uV/Hz. In lock, I estimate that there is ~60 uW of light incident on the PDH reflection photodiode. Using the PD response of 0.2 A/W, transimpedance of 47.5 kohm, and mixer conversion loss of 6dB, the shot-noise limited sensitivity is 0.5 mHz/rtHz. The photodiode dark noise contribution is a little lower - estimated to be 0.2 mHz/rtHz. The loop does not have enough gain to reach these levels.


PDH discriminant (40 uV/Hz, see this elog) 

  14528   Tue Apr 9 19:07:12 2019 gautamUpdateALSIR ALS noise budget

Updated the noise budget to include the unsuppressed frequency noise from the EX laser. It does not explain the noise between 10-100 Hz, although the 1-3 Hz noise is close.

Actually, I think the curve that should go on the budget is when the X arm length is locked to the PSL frequency, whereas this is when the X arm is just locally damped. I will update it later tonight.

Update 1010pm: I've uploaded the relevant plot as Attachment #2. Predictably, the unsuppressed frequency noise of the EX laser is now higher, because the MC length is a noisier frequency reference than the arm cavity. But still it is a factor of 10 below the measured ALS noise.


Next noises to budget:

  1. In-loop X arm length noise
  2. In-lop EX laser frequency noise
  14533   Thu Apr 11 01:10:05 2019 gautamUpdateALSLarge 2kHz peak (and harmonics) in ALS X

These weren't present last week. The peaks are present in the EX PDH error monitor signal, and so are presumably connected with the green locking system. My goal tonight was to see if the arm length control could be done using the ALS error signal as opposed to POX, but I was not successful.

  14548   Wed Apr 17 00:50:17 2019 gautamUpdateALSLarge 2kHz peak (and harmonics) in ALS X no more

I looked into this issue today. Initially, my thinking was that I'd somehow caused clipping in the beampath somewhere which was causing this 2kHz excitation. However, on looking at the spectrum of the in-loop error signal today (Attachment #1), I found no evidence of the peak anymore!

Since the vacuum system is in a non-nominal state, and also because my IR ALS beat setup has been hijacked for the MZ interferometer, I don't have an ALS spectrum, but the next step is to try single arm locking using the ALS error signal. To investigate whether the 2kHz peak is a time-dependent feature, I left the EX green locked to the arm (with the SLOW temperature offloading servo ON), hopefully it stays locked overnight...


These weren't present last week. The peaks are present in the EX PDH error monitor signal, and so are presumably connected with the green locking system. My goal tonight was to see if the arm length control could be done using the ALS error signal as opposed to POX, but I was not successful.

  14549   Wed Apr 17 11:01:49 2019 gautamUpdateALSLarge 2kHz peak (and harmonics) in ALS X no more

EX green stayed locked to XARM length overnight without a problem. The spectrogram doesn't show any alarming time varying features around 2 kHz (or at any other frequency).

  14643   Wed May 29 18:13:25 2019 gautamUpdateALSFiber beam-splitters are now PM

To maintain PM fibers all the way through to the photodiode, I had ordered some PM versions of the 50/50 fiber beamsplitters from AFW technologies. They arrived some days ago, and today I installed them in the BeatMouth. Before installation, I checked that the ends of the fibers were clean with the fiber microscope. I also did a little cleanup of the NW corner of the PSL table, where the 1um MZ setup was completely disassembled. We now have 4 non-PM fiber beamsplitters which may be useful for non polarizaiton sensitive applications - they are stored in the glass-door cabinet slightly east of the IY chamber along the Y arm, together with all the other fiber-related hardware.

Anjali had changed the coupling of the beam to the slow axis for her experiment but I ordered beamsplitters which have the slow axis blocked (because that was the original config). I need to revert to this config, and then make a measurement of the ALS noise - if things look good, I'll also patch up the Y arm ALS. We made several changes to the proposed timeline for the summer but I'd like to see this ALS thing through to the end while I still have some momentum before embarking on the BHD project. More to follow later in the eve.


Get a fiber BS that is capable of maintaining the beam polarization all the way through to the beat photodiode. I've asked AFW technologies (the company that made our existing fiber BS parts) if they supply such a device, and Andrew is looking into a similar component from Thorlabs.

  14645   Fri May 31 15:55:16 2019 gautamUpdateALSPSL + X beat restored

Coupling into the fast axis of the fiber:

The PM couplers I bought require that the light is coupled to the fast axis. The Thorlabs part that Andrew ordered, and which Anjali was using for the MZ experiment, was the opposite configuration, and so the input coupler K6XS mount was rotated to accommodate this polarization. The HWP was also rotated to cut the power into the fiber. I undid these changes. Mode-matching is ~65% (2.42mW/3.70mW) which isn't stellar, but good enough. The PER is ~15dB (ratio of power in fast axis to slow axis is ~40), which I verified using another collimator at the output, and a PBS + two photodiodes. Again isn't stellar but good enough.

EX laser temperature adjustment:

Rana adjusted the temperature of the main laser to 30.61 C. According to the calibration, the EX laser temperature needed to be ~32.8 C. It was ~31.2 C. I made the change by rotating the dial on the front panel of the EX laser controller. Fine adjustment was done using the temperature slider on the ALS screen. With an offset of ~+610 counts, I found a beat at ~80 MHz.

First look at PM beamsplitters:

From my initial test, the beat amplitude was stable to my moving of the fibers yes. The NF1611 DC monitor reports 2.6 V DC with only the EX light, and 3.15 V DC with only the PSL light. So I should probably cut the PSL power a little to improve the contrast. Assuming the 10 kohm DC transimpedance spec can be believed, this means the expected signal level is 4*sqrt(260uA * 315uA)*700V/A ~0.8 Vpp, and I see ~0.9 Vpp, so roughly things add up (this is actually more consistent with an RF transimpedance of 800V/A, which is maybe not unreasonable). The RF amps for routing this signal to the delay line has been borrowed for the 2um frequency noise experiemnt - I will reacquire it today and check the ALS noise performance.

So overall, I am happy with the performance of the current iteration of the BeatMouth.

  14740   Tue Jul 9 18:42:15 2019 gautamUpdateALSEX green doubling oven temperature controller power was disconnected

There was no green light even though the EX NPRO was on. I checked the doubling oven temperature controller and found that its power cable was loose on the rear. I reconnected it, and now there is green light again. 

  14800   Mon Jul 22 23:53:16 2019 gautamUpdateALSIR ALS locking attempt


My goal tonight was to lock the PSL frequency to be resonant in the XARM cavity, using the PSL+EX beat as the error signal. I was not successful - mainly, I was plagued by huge BR mode coupling in the error signal, and I could not enable the BR notch filter in the control loop without breaking the lock. Need to think about next steps.


  • POX and POY locking was easily restored.
  • EX green alignment was tweaked at the end-table. A large YAW correction was required, which I opted to apply on the mechanical mirror mounts rather than the PZTs. GTRX ~0.4 was recovered.
  • The arm cavity length was first locked using POX as an error signal 
    • Then I looked at the out-of-loop ALS noise, trusting the DFD's V/Hz calibration (red-trace in Attachment #1).
    • I judged it to be close enough to the benchmark reference (green-trace in Attachment #1), and so decided that I could go ahead and try locking.
  • A modified version of the script /opt/rtcds/caltech/c1/scripts/XARM/Lock_ALS_XARM.py was used to transition control from POX to the ALS error signal
    • I found that I had to change the sign of the CARM loop gain for the servo to remain stable (in this config, CARM-->MC2 length, thereby modifying the IMC frequency to keep the PSL resonant in the XARM cavity).
    • I don't know why this sign change was required - we are still sticking to the same convention that the beat frequency increases when the temperature slider for the EX laser is incremented in counts.
    • The script failed multiple times at the BOOST/BR notch filter enabling step.
    • Doing these steps manually, I found that turning the BR notch, FM6, ON destroyed the lock immediately.
    • Motivated by this observation, I looked at the in-loop error signal spectrum, see Attachment #2. Here, the PSL frequency is servoed by the ALS error signal, but the BR notch filter isn't enabled.
    • The Bounce-mode peak is huge - where is this coming from? It is absent in the ALS spectrum when the XARM is locked with POX. So it is somehow connected with actuating on the MC2 suspension? Or is it that the FM6=BounceRoll filter of the XARM loop is squishing the noise when looking at the ALS spectrum in POX lock, i.e. Attachment #1? In which case, why can't I engage FM6 for the CARM loop???

Anyway, now that I have a workable set of settings that gets me close to the ALS lock of the XARM, I expect debugging to proceed faster.

Update 2019 July 23: I looked at the control loop shape today, see Attachment #3. I'm not sure I understand why the "BounceRoll" filter  in this filter bank looks like a resonant gain rather than a notch, as it does for the Oplev or SUSPOS loops for example - don't we want to not actuate at these frequencies because the reason the signal exists is because of the imperfect OSEM/magnet positioning? This does not explain the spectrum shown in Attachment #2 however, as that filter was disabled.

  14802   Wed Jul 24 00:22:24 2019 gautamUpdateALSPSL frequency locked to XARM length using ALS


I succeeded in locking the PSL frequency to the XARM cavity length, with 9 pm RMS (Attachment #1) motion below 1 kHz, by actuating on MC2 to change the IMC length. The locks were pretty stable (~20 minutes) - the dominant cause of lockloss was the infamous ETMX drifting problem.


  1. I did not need to do anything to fix the anomalosly high BR mode coupling I reported yesterday surprise.
    • To test where this could be coming from - I looked at the ALS spectrum again with the XARM length locked to the PSL frequency using POX.
    • Then I compared the spectra with the BR filter in the XARM servo enabled/disabled, see Attachment #2
    • There bounce/roll peak heights even with the BR filter disabled is ~x100 smaller than what I reported yesterday (it remained the case today, because without enabling the BR filter in the CARM servo bank, the TRX level was fluctuating wildly at ~16 Hz). 
  2. The CARM loop (which is what the PSL frequency was slaved to) had ~150 Hz UGF with ~40 degrees phase margin, see Attachment #3.
  3. The quoted RMS sensing noise is if we trust the old POX calibration - may be off by a factor of a few, but probably not an order of magnitude. I'll recalibrate using the free-swinging Michelson technique in the coming days.
  4. The two broad humps in Attachment #1, centered at ~180 Hz and ~300 Hz, are present in the XARM lock as well - so it is somehow imprinted on the arm cavity length. Fixing that will improve the RMS noise performance significantly.

My main motivation here is to make some measurements and investigate the SoCal idea using a toy system, i.e. a single arm cavity controlled using ALS, so that's what Craig and I will attempt next.

  14811   Thu Jul 25 12:25:56 2019 gautamUpdateALSIR ALSX noise


  1. There are some broad peaks in the ALS out-of-loop noise, centered at ~145 Hz, ~245 Hz and ~570 Hz which are absent in both the POX in-lock error signal and in the green PDH error signals (see Attachment #1). So I conclude they originate in the IR ALS beat chain somewhere. Needs more investigation, in the general quest to improve the ALS noise.
  2. This measurement also shows that the ALS noise is limited by unsuppressed EX green PDH frequency noise above ~400 Hz (100 Hz if you ignore the unexplained broad humps).

These spectra were taken with the arm cavity length locked to the PSL frequency using POX as an error signal, and the EX laser frequency locked to the XARM cavity length by the analog PDH servo at EX, so there is no feedback control with the ALS beat signal as an error signal.

Other details:

  • The transition of arm resonance control from POX to ALS error signal is more robust now - I am able to do this during daytime, and also maintain the lock for >20 minutes at a time.
  • Rana encouraged me not to spend too much time on this - so my next goal here will be to get the Y arm IR ALS working, and then we can control the two arms using ALS error signals in the CARM/DARM basis instead of the X/Y basis.
  • I still think it's worth getting the ALS good enough that the locking becomes repeatable and reliable.
    • The main task here is going to be re-doing the EY green layout to match the EX layout, get good MM into the cavity etc.
    • The IR light also has to be coupled into the fiber at EY.
  14823   Fri Aug 2 11:37:38 2019 gautamUpdateALSEY IR ALS Assay


I'd like to confirm that the IR ALS scheme will work for locking. The X-arm performance so far has been encouraging. I want to repeat the characterization for the Y arm. So I inspected the layout on the EY table, and made a list of characterization tasks. The current EY beam routing is difficult to work with, and it will definitely benefit from a re-do. However, I don't know how much time I want to spend re-doing it, so for a start, I will just try and couple some amount of light into a fiber and bring it to the PSL table, and see what noise performance I get.


Attachment #1: Photo of the current beam layout. The powers indicated were measured with the Ophir power meter.

  • I measure an SHG conversion efficiency of 0.87 %/W, which is considerably lower than the ~3.7%/W that is theoretically expected, and 1.5%/W that is realized at EX.
  • Of the 0.5 mW of green light that is generated, I measure ~0.375 mW at the viewport into the EY chamber. So there is ~25 % loss in the green beam path on the EY table. Seems high to me.
  • The previous solution of coupling IR light into the fiber realized at EY was to use the SHG leakage IR beam. While there isn't a measurement showing that this dirty beam is noisier than a cleaner pickoff, I'd like to adopt the solution used at EX, which is to use the leakage beam from the first steering mirror in the NPRO beam path. This will allow better mode-matching and polarization control of the beam being coupled into the fiber, which at least in principle, translates to less phase noise.
  • However - the beam layout at the EY table offers much less freedom to work with this idea than EX. A constraint is the clamp that secures the enclosure to the optical table, labelled in the photo. Further behind it, the green steering optics occupy all available space. A more comprehensive photo of the EY table can be found here.
  • Off the top of my head, I don't see any other good open spots on the EY table where we could couple IR light into the fiber. 
  • One other change I'd like to make is to replace the first steering mirror after the NPRO head, which is currently a Y1 HR mirror, with a R=99% BS. This will make it easier to control the amount of power coupled into the fiber, which is something we'd like.

Attachment #2: A candidate mode-matching solution, given the constraints outlined above. It isn't great, with only 85% modematching even theoretically possible. The lenses required are also pretty fast lenses. But I think it's the best possible without a complete overhaul of the EY layout. I'm still waiting for the lens kit to arrive, but as soon as they get here, I will start this work.

Characterization tasks:

  • Characterize SHG at EY [done 7/28]
  • Characterize gPDH at EY (loop TFs, improve MM, PDH discriminant, check the polarization)
  • Couple IR light into fiber with good MM at EY [done with 36% MM 8/9]
  • Clean fiber at EY, and at the PSL table [done 8/9]
  • Make the PSL + Y IR beat [done 8/9]
  • Noise budget
  14835   Tue Aug 6 23:09:20 2019 gautamUpdateALSEY table work
  • Removed power monitoring PD (It was off anyways)
  • Installed Steering mirror and collimator in K6XS mount (fast axis = p-pol to best effort by eye)
  • Installed lens mounts in approx position
  • Cleaned fiber at EY and connected to the collimator
  • Coupled EY--->PSL and spare PSL-->EY fibers together at the PSL table to facilitate coupling.
  • tbc tomorrow...

Couple IR light into fiber with good MM at EY

  14838   Fri Aug 9 16:37:39 2019 gautamUpdateALSMore EY table work


  1. 220 uW / 600 uW (~36 % mode-matching) of IR light coupled into fiber at EY.
  2. Re-connected the RF chain from the beat mouth output on the PSL table to the DFD setup at 1Y2.
  3. A beat note was found between the PSL and EY beams using the BeatMouth.


We want to know that we can lock the interferometer with the ALS beat note being generated by beating IR pickoffs (rather than the vertex green transmission). The hope is also to make the ALS system good enough that we can transition the CARM offset directly to 0 after the DRMI is locked with arms held off resonance.


Attachment #1: Shows the layout. The realized MM is ~36 %. c.f. the 85% predicted by a la mode. It is difficult to optimize much more given the tight layout, and the fact that these fast lenses require the beam to be well centered on them. They are reasonably well aligned, but I don't want to futz around with the pointing into the doubling crystal. Consequently, I don't have much control over the pointing.

Attachment #2: Shows pictures of the fiber tips at both ends before/after cleaning. The tips are now much cleaner.

The BeatMouth NF1611 DC monitor reports ~580 mV with only the EY light incident on it. This corresponds to ~60 uW of light making it to the photodiode, which is only 25% of what we send in. This is commensurate with the BS loss + mating sleeve losses.

To find the beat between PSL and EY beams, I had to change the temperature control MEDM slider for the EY laser to -8355 cts (it was 225 cts). Need to check where this lies in the mode-hop scan by actually looking at the X-tal temperature on the front panel of the EY NPRO controller - we want to be at ~39.3 C on the EY X-tal, given the PSL X-tal temp of ~30.61 C. Just checked it, front panel reports 39.2C, so I think we're good.

Next steps:

  • Fix the IMC suspension
  • Measure the ALS noise for the Y arm
  • Determine if improvements need to be made to the IR beat setup (e.g. more power? better MM? etc etc).

EY enclosure was closed up and ETMY Oplev was re-enabled after my work. Some cleanup/stray beam dumping remains to be done, I will enlist Chub's help on Monday.

  14846   Thu Aug 15 18:54:54 2019 gautamUpdateALSALS sensing noise due to IMC


I came aross an interesting suggestion by Yutaro that KAGRA's low-frequency ALS noise could be limited by the fact that the IMC comes between the point where the frequencies of the PSL and AUX lasers are sensed (i.e. the ALS beat note), and the point where we want them to be equal (i.e. the input of the arm cavity). I wanted to see if the same effect could be at play in the 40m ALS system. A first estimate suggests to me that the numbers are definitely in the ballpark. If this is true, we may benefit from lower noise ALS by picking off the PSL beam for the ALS beat note after the IMC.


Even though the KAGRA phase lock scheme is different from the 40m scheme, the algebra holds. I needed an estimate of how much the arm cavity moves, I used data from a POX lock to estimate this. The estimate is probably not very accurate (since the arm cavity length is more stable than the IMC length, and the measured ALS noise, e.g. this elog, is actually better than what this calculation would have me believe), but should be the right order of magnitude. From this crude estimate, it does look like for f<10 Hz, this effect could be significant. I assumed an IMC pole of 3.8 kHz for this calculation.

I've indicated a "target" ALS performance where the ALS noise would be less than the CARM linewidth, which would hopefully make the locking much easier. Seems like realizing this target will be touch-and-go. But if we can implement length feedforward control for the arm cavities using seismometers, the low frequency motion of the optics should go down. It would be interesting to see if the ALS noise gets better at low frequencies with length feedforward engaged.

* Some updates were made to the plot:

  1. Took data from Kiwamu's paper for the seismic noise
  2. Overlaid measured ALS noise
  14847   Fri Aug 16 04:24:03 2019 ranaUpdateALSALS sensing noise due to IMC

What about just use high gain feedback to MC2 below 20 Hz for the IMC lock? That would reduce the excess if this theory is correct.

  14918   Mon Sep 30 18:20:26 2019 gautamUpdateALSALS OOL noise - a first look

Attachment #1 shows a first look at the IR ALS noise after my re-coupling of the IR light into the fiber at EY. 

Measurement configuration: 

  • Each arm length was individually stabilized to the PSL frequency using POX/POY locking.
  • The respective AUX laser frequencies were locked to the arm cavity length using the AUX PDH loops.
  • GTRX ~0.3 (usually I can get ~0.5) and GTRY ~ 0.2 (the mode-matching to the arm cavities is pretty horrible as suggested by the multitude of bullseye modes seen when toggling the shutter).
  • The control signal to the AUX PZT had the DC part offloaded by the slow temperature control servos to the AUX laser crystal temperature.

CDS model changes:

  • The c1lsc model was modified to route the input signals to the Y phase tracker servo from ADC1_2 and ADC1_3 (originally, they were ADC0_20 and ADC0_21).
  • This change was necessary because the DFD output is sent differentially to the ADC1 card in the c1lsc expansion chassis (bypassing the iLIGO whitening and AA electronics, for now just going through an aLIGO AA board with no whitening available yet).
  • I chose to use the differential receiving (as opposed to using the front-panel single ended BNC connectors) as in principle, it is capable of delivering better noise performance.
  • After making the model changes, I compiled and restarted the model. Apart from the missing path issue, the compile/restart went smoothly.

Next steps:

  • Get the easy fixes done (better GTRX, GTRY).
  • Test the noise with POX and POY as the OOL sensors, and the arms controlled using the ALS error signal - this is the relevant metric for how ALS will be used in locking.
  • Noise budget. Need to double-check the DFD output calibration into Hz.
  • For the general interferometer recovery, I think I will push ahead with trying to lock some other configurations like the PRMI (should be easy to recover), DRMI (potentially more difficult to find the right settings), and the FPMI (I'd like to use this config to get an estimate for how much contrast defect we have in the interferometer, but I think it'll be pretty challenging to lock in this configuration).
  14938   Fri Oct 4 00:32:24 2019 gautamUpdateALSMore locking updates


I managed to achieve a few transitions of control of the XARM length using the ALS error signal. The lock is sort of stable, but there are frequent "glitches" in the TRX level. Needs more noise hunting, but if the YARM ALS is also "good enough", I think we'd be well placed to try PRMI/DRMI locking with the arms held off resonance (while variable finesse remains an alternative).


Attachment #1One example of a lock stretch. 

Attachment #2ASD of the frequency noise witnessed by POX with the arm controlled by ALS. The observed RMS of ~30pm is ~3-4 times higher than the best performance I have seen, which makes me question if the calibration is off. To be checked...

  14943   Sat Oct 5 21:26:34 2019 gautamUpdateALSY-end green alignment tweaked


I improved the alignment of the green beam into the Y arm cavity.

  • GTRY went from ~0.2 to ~0.25, see Attachment #1.
  • This resulted in improvement of the Y arm ALS noise above 💯Hz by a factor of ~5, see Attachment #2.
  • I tried controlling the two arm cavities in the CARM/DARM basis using ALS error signals - but didn't manage to successfully execute this transition today - this will be the commissioning goal for the upcoming week.


  • I had to do the alignment by tweaking the steering mirrors at EY - the PZTs didn't give me anywhere near enough range.
  • While I was at EY, I tried moving the two MM lenses mounted on translation stages to try and improve the mode-matching into the arm cavity - wasn't successful, still see a bunch of bullseye modes when I toggle the shutter.
  • They EY green layout would benefit from a do-over (basically just copy the EX layout), but this isn't the priority right now, the ALS noise RMS is dominated by low frequency noise (as usual). 
  • There is a ~5% leakage of the GTRX beam onto the GTRY photodiode.
  • One thing to try would be to revive the MCL loop to reduce the <1 Hz laser frequency noise and see if that helps - basically testing this hypothesis.
  • I had done some careful noise-budgeting of the EX green PDH system, the EY system would benefit from the same, but not critical.
  • The improvement of the high-frequency noise is clear, and now we are consistent with the "known good reference" level from the time the DRFPMI locking was working back in early 2016.

Other changes made today:

  1. /opt/rtcds/caltech/c1/scripts/general/videoscripts/videoswitch was modified to be python3 compatible - for some reason, there were many syntax errors being thrown (even though I was using python2.7) and I wasn't able to change the displays in the VEA using the MEDM screen, but now it works again 👍.
  2. The LSC overview and several daughter MEDM screens were edited to remove references to channels that no longer exist. All screens I edited have a backup stored in the MEDM directory with today's date as a suffix.
  3. Input pointing into the PMC was tweaked.
  4. Noted that some pump is noisy at pumpspool - also noted that the annuli are no longer pumped. Some event seems to have triggered an interlock condition that closed off the annular volume from TP3, needs investigation...
  14944   Sun Oct 6 15:23:27 2019 gautamUpdateALSArm control using error signals achieved


I managed to execute the first few transitions of locking the arm lengths to the laser frequency in the CARM/DARM basis using the IR ALS system 🎉 🎊 . The performance is not quite optimized yet, but at the very least, we are back where we were in the green days.


  1. Locking laser frequency to Y arm cavity length using MC2 as a frequency actuator
    • This is the usual diagnostic done to check the single-arm ALS noise using POY as an out of loop sensor.
    • The procedure is now scripted - I had to guess the sign and optimize the gains a few times, but this works deterministically now. 
    • Script lives at /opt/rtcds/caltech/c1/scripts/YARM/Lock_ALS_YARM.py.
    • Attachment #1 shows the result. If we believe the POY sensor calibration, the RMS displacement noise is ~6 pm
  2. Encouraged by the good performance of the Y arm, I decided to try the overall transition from the POX/POY basis to the CARM/DARM basis using ALS error signals.
    • The procedure starts with the arm cavities locked with POX/POY, and the respective green frequencies locked to the arm cavity length by the end PDH servos.
    • The DFD outputs serve as the ALS error signals - the PSL frequency is adjusted to the average value of DFD_X_OUT and DFD_Y_OUT.
    • I changed the LSC output matrix element for DARM-->ETMX from -1 to -5, to make it symmetric in actuation force w.r.t. ETMY (since the series resistane on ETMX is x5 that on ETMY).
    • After some guesswork, I fould the right signs for the gains. After enabling the boosts etc, I was able to keep both arms (approximately) on resonance for several minutes. See Attachment #2 for the time series of the transition process - the whole thing takes ~ 1 minute. 
    • A script to automate this procedure lives at /opt/rtcds/caltech/c1/scripts/ALS/Transition_IR_ALS.py.
    • The transition isn't entirely robust when executed by script - the main problem seems to be that in the few seconds between ramping off the IR servos and enabling the CARM/DARM integrators/boosts, the DARM error-point offset can become rather large. Consequently, when the integrator is engaged, ETMX/ETMY get a large kick that misalign the cavity substantially, degrade the green lock, and destroy the CARM lock as well. The problem doesn't seem to exist for the CARM loop. 
    • Anyways, I think this is easily fixed, just need to optimize sleep times and handoff gains etc a bit. For now, I just engage the DARM boosts by hand, putting in a DARM offset if necessary to avoid any kicking of the optic.
    • Attachment #3 shows the length noise witnessed by POX/POY when the arm cavities are under ALS control. If we believe the sensor calibration, the RMS displacement noise is ~15 (20) pm for the Y (X) arm.
    • This is rather larger than I was hoping would be the case, and the RMS is dominated by the <1 Hz "mystery noise".
    • Nevertheless, for a first pass, it's good to know that we can achieve this sort of ALS performance with the new IR ALS system.

Over the week, I'll try some noise budgeting, to improve the performance. The next step in the larger scheme of things is to see if we can lock the PRMI/DRMI with CARM detuned off resonance.

  14979   Fri Oct 18 20:21:33 2019 shrutiUpdateALSAM measurement attempt at X end

[Shruti, Rana]

- At the X end, we set up the network analyzer to begin measurement of the AM transfer function by actuation of the laser PZT.

- The lid of the PDH optics setup was removed to make some checks and then replaced.

- From the PDH servo electronics setup the 'GREEN_REFL' and 'TO AUX-X LASER PZT' cables were removed for the measurement and then re-attached after.

- The signal today was too low to make a real measurement of the AM transfer function, but the GPIB scripts and interfacing was tested. 

  14981   Mon Oct 21 12:25:46 2019 gautamUpdateALSDFD electronics checkout


There are no unexpected red-flags in the performance of the DFD electronics. The calibration factors for the digital phase tracker system are 71.291 +/- 0.024 deg/MHz for the X delay line and 70.973 +/- 0.024 deg/MHz for the Y delay line, while the noise floor for the frequency noise discrimination is ~0.5 Hz/rtHz above 1 Hz (dominated by ADC noise).


  1. Attachment #1 - This observation is what motivated my investigation.
    •  found that for certain beat frequencies between the PSL + EX lasers, the frequency noise reported by the DFD system was surprisingly low.
    • The measurement condition was: EX laser frequency locked to the arm cavity length by the uPDH servo at EX, arm cavity length locked to PSL frequency via POX locking.
  2. To investigate further, I disconnected the output of the NF1611 PDs going to the ZHL-3A amplifiers on the PSL table (after first blocking the PSL light so that the PDs aren't generating any RF output).
    • An RF function generator (IFR2023B) was used to generate an RF signal to mimic the ALS beat signal.
    • I used a power splitter to divide the signal power equally between the two DFD paths.
    • The signal level on the Marconi was set to -5 dBm, to mimic the nominal power level seen by the DFD system.
    • I then performed two tests - (i) to calibrate the Phase Tracker output to deg / MHz and (ii) to measure the frequency noise reported by the DFD system for various signal frequencies.
    • Test (i): sweep the marconi frequency between 10 MHz - 200 MHz, measure the I and Q channels for each phase tracker servo, and figure out the complex argument of the signal using the arctangent. A linear polynomial was fit to the measured datapoints to extract the desired slope.
    • Test (ii): Sample frequencies uniformly distributed between 20 MHz - 80 MHz (nominal range of ALS beat frequencies expected). Reset the phase tracker servo gain, clear the output histories, wait for any transients to die out, and then collect the phase tracker servo output for 1 minute. Compute the FFT to figure out the frequency noise.
    • Attachment #2: Shows the phase tracker calibration, i.e. the results of Test (i). I took this opportunity to update the EPICS calibration fields that convert phase tracker servo output to Hz, the correction was ~7%. These numbers are consistent with what I measured previously - but the updated values weren't registered with SDF so everytime the LSC model was restarted, it reverted to the old values.
    • Attachment #3: Shows the spectra for the various measurements from Test (ii).
    • Attachment #4: Shows the gain of the phase tracker servo as a function of the RF signal frequency. This is a proxy for the signal strength, and the observed trend suggests that the signal power seen after digitization of the demodulated delay line output goes down by ~20% at 80 MHz relative to the level at 20 MHz. Seems reasonable to me, given frequency dependent losses of the intervening electronics / cabling.

Conclusion and next steps:

I still don't know what's responsible for the anomalously low noise levels reported by the ALS-X system sometimes. Next test is to check the EX PDH system, since on the evidence of these tests, the problem seems to be imprinted on the light (though I can't imagine how the noise becomes lower?).

  14984   Tue Oct 22 15:32:15 2019 gautamUpdateALSEX uPDH electronics checkout


The EX PDH setup had what I thought was insufficient phase and gain margins. So I lowered the gain a little - the price paid was that the suppression of laser frequency noise of the end laser was reduced. I actually think an intermediate gain setting (G=7) can give us ~35 degrees of phase margin, ~10dB gain margin, and lower residual unsuppressed AUX laser noise - to be confirmed by measurement later. See here for the last activity I did - how did the gain get increased? I can't find anything in the elog.

  14986   Wed Oct 23 10:23:26 2019 ranaUpdateALSEX uPDH electronics checkout

During our EX AM/PM setups, I don't think we bumped the PDH gain knob (and I hope that the knob was locked). Possible drift in the PZT response? Good thing Shruti is on the case.

Is there a loop model of green PDH that agrees with the measurement? I'm wondering if something can be done with a compensation network to up the bandwidth or if the phase lag is more like a non-invertible kind.

ELOG V3.1.3-