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ID Date Authordown Type Category Subject
  13664   Mon Mar 5 10:13:21 2018 gautamUpdateVACvacuum health

In Steve's absence, I've tried to keep an eye on the health of the vacuum system. From Attachment #1, the pressure of the main volume seems stable, no red flags there. I also don't here any anomalously loud sounds near the vacuum pumps. I've changed the N2 cylinders that keep V1 open twice, on Wednesday and Sunday of last week. So in summary, the vacuum system looks fine based on all the metrics I know of.

Attachment 1: VacuumStatus.png
  13665   Mon Mar 5 11:58:24 2018 gautamUpdateElectronicsThree opamps walked onto an AA board

For testing the new IR ALS noise, we had decided that we would like to use the differential output of the demodulated ALS beat signal, as opposed to a single-ended output, as measurements suggested the former to be a lower noise configuration than the latter. For this purpose, Koji and I acquired a couple of old AA boards from the WB electronics shop. These are however, rev2 of the board, whereas the latest version is v6. The main difference between v2 and v6 is that (i) the THS4131 instrumentation amplifier has the Vocm pin grounded in v6 but is floating in v2 and (ii) the buffer opamps are AD8622 in v6 but are AD8672 in v2. But in fact, the boards we have are stuffed with AD8682

I talked to Rich on Friday, and he seemed to think the AD8672 didn't have any issues noise-wise, the main reason they changed it was because its power consumption was high, and was causing overheating when several of these 1U chassis were packed closely together in an electronics rack. But the AD8682, which is what we have, has comparable power consumption to the AD8622. It is however a JFET opamp, and the voltage noise is a bit higher than the AD8622. 

I am sure there is a way to LISO model a differential output opamp like the THS4131, but I thought I'd simulate the noise in LTSPICE instead. But I couldn't get that to work. So instead, I just measured the transfer function and noise of a single channel, for which Koji had expertly hacked together a custom shorting of the THS4131 Vocm pin to ground. Attachments #1 and #2 show the measurement. All looks good. Note that the phase is 180 at DC because I had hooked up the input signal opposite to what it should have been. The voltage noise of the differential outputs (each measured w.r.t. ground, with both inputs shorted to ground by a short patch cable) at 10 Hz is <100nV/rtHz, and the ADC noise is expected to be ~1uV/rtHz, so I think this is fine.

Conclusion: I think for the ALS test, we can just use the AA board in this config without worrying too much about replacing the buffer stage opamps, even though we've ordered 100pcs of AD8622.

Addendum 7 Mar 2018 11am: As per this document, the output noise of the AA board should be <75nV/rtHz from 10 Hz-50 kHz. So maybe the AD8682 noise is a little high after all. I've gotten the LTSpice model working now, will post the comparison of modelled output noise for various combinations here shortly.

Attachment 1: AA_TF.pdf
Attachment 2: AA_noise.pdf
  13666   Mon Mar 5 17:27:34 2018 gautamUpdateALSnew look ALS electronics - characterization

I did a quick test of the noise of the new ALS electronics with the X arm ALS. Attachment #1 shows the results - but something looks off in the measurement, especially the "LO driven, RF terminated" trace. I will have to defer further testing to tomorrow. Of course the real test is to digitize these signals and look at the spectrum of the phase tracker output, but I wanted a voltage noise comparison first. Also, note that I have NOT undone the whitening TFs of (z,p) = (15,150) on these traces. I wonder if these noisy signals (particularly the 10Hz multiple harmonics) are an artefact of measurement, or if something is wonky in the daughter board circuits themselves. I am measuring these with the help of a DB9 breakout board and some pomona minigrabbers. Reagrdless, the sort of ripple seen in the olive green trace for the I channel wasn't present when I did the same test with RF signal generators out on the electronics workbench, so I am inclined to think that this isn't a problem with the circuit. I'm measuring with the SR785 with the "A" input setting, but with the ground set to "Float". I need to look into what the difference is between this mode, and the "A-B" mode. At first glance, both seem to be equivalent differential measurements, but I wonder if there is some subtlety w.r.t. pickup noise.

Perhaps I can repeat the test at the output of the AA board. I looked into whether there is a spare +/- 24V DC power supply available at the LSC rack, to power the 1U AA chassis, but didn't see anything there.

Attachment 1: BeatMouthX_20180305_diffOut.pdf
  13667   Wed Mar 7 12:04:14 2018 gautamUpdateElectronicsThree opamps walked onto an AA board

Here are the plots. Comments:

  1. Measurement and model agree quite well yes.
  2. Of the 3 OpAmps, the ones installed seem to be the noisiest (per model)
  3. Despite #2, I don't think it is critical to replace the buffer opamps as we only win by ~10nV/rtHz in the 300-10kHz range.
  4. I don't understand the spec given in T070146. It says the noise everywhere between 10Hz-50kHz should be <75nV/rtHz. But even the model suggests that at 10Hz, the noise is ~250nV/rtHz for any choice of buffer opamp, so that's a factor of 3 difference which seems large. Maybe I made a mistake in the model but the agreement between measurement and model for the AD8682 choice gives me confidence in the simulation. LTSpice files used are in Attachment #3. Could also be an artefact of the way I made the measurement - between an output and ground instead of differentially...

I like LTspice for such modeling - the GUI is nice to have (though I personally think that typing out a nodal file a la LISO is faster), and compared to LISO, I think that the LTspice infrastructure is a bit more versatile in terms of effects that can be modeled. We can also easily download SPICE models for OpAmps from manufacturers and simply add them to the library, rather than manually type out parameters in opamp.lib for LISO. But the version available for Mac is somewhat pared down in terms of the UI, so I had to struggle a bit to find the correct syntax for the various simulation commands. The format of the exported data is also not as amenable to python plotting as LISO output files, but i'm nitpicking...


I've gotten the LTSpice model working now, will post the comparison of modelled output noise for various combinations here shortly.


Attachment 1: AA_TF.pdf
Attachment 2: AA_noise.pdf
Attachment 3: D070081_LTspiceFiles.zip
  13668   Thu Mar 8 00:40:25 2018 gautamUpdateALSnew look ALS electronics - characterization

I am almost ready for a digital test of the new ALS electronics. Today, Koji and I spent some time tapping new +/-24VDC DIN terminal blocks at the LSC rack to facilitate the installation of the 1U differential receiving AA chassis (separate elog entry). The missing piece of the puzzle now is the timing adapter card. I opted against trying a test tonight as I am having some trouble bringing c1lsc back online.

Incidentally, a repeat of the voltage noise measurement of the X arm ALS beat looked much cleaner today, see Attachment #1 - I don't have a good hypothesis as to why sometimes the signal has several harmonics at 10Hz multiples, and sometimes it looks just as expected. The problem may be more systematically debuggable once the signals are being digitally acquired.

Attachment 1: BeatMouthX_20180305_diffOut.pdf
  13669   Thu Mar 8 01:10:22 2018 gautamUpdateGeneralCDS recovery after work at LSC rack

This required multiple hard reboots, but seems like all the RT models are back for now. The only indicator I can't explain is the red DC field on c1oaf. Also, the SUS model seems to be overclocking more frequently than usual, though I can't be sure. The "timing" field of this model's state word is RED, while the other models all seem fine. Not sure what could be going on.

Will debug further tomorrow, when I probably will have to do all this again as I'll need to recompile c1lsc for the ALS electronics test with the new ADC card from the differential AA board.

Attachment 1: CDS-recovery.png
  13670   Thu Mar 8 14:41:25 2018 gautamUpdateGeneralCDS recovery after work at LSC rack

As I had found before, restarting the c1oaf model fixed the DC error. There is however still a pesky red indicator light on the "ADC0" in c1oaf. Trying to open up the ADC MEDM screen to investigate this further leads to the blank screen on the bottom right of Attachment #1. Probably has something to do with the fact that the model has an ADC block (because every model needs one?) but no signals are actually being piped to the model directly from the ADC.

Another observation, though I don't have any hypothesis as to why this was happening: on the c1sus machine, the c1sus model would frequently overclock, and then eventually, crash. I observed this behaviour at least 3 times between last night and now. The other models seemed fine though, in fact, IMC stayed locked. Why should this have been the case? It remains to be seen if this was somehow connected to the red DC indicator on c1oaf, though why should this be the case? Isn't the DC just concerned with writing data to frames? Any sort of IPC should be independent? Attachment #2 shows that there's been a definite increase in the maximum time on c1sus clock-cycle since yesterday (it's a 10 day minute trend plot of the model clock cycle timing and also the maximum time). Why? Koji and I did switch off all the Sorensens at the LSC rack for about 30mins, but why should this affect anything at 1X6? There are no red lights in either the c1lsc or c1sus expansion chassis. Curiously, the PRM also seems to be glitchy - as I'm sitting in the control room, I see a spot flashing across vertically on the REFL CRT monitor sporadically. Note that nominally, with PRM misaligned, the REFL CRT should be dark. dmesg on c1sus doesn't shed any light on the issue.

Seems like some high level voodoo indecision.

Edit 330pm: The model just crashed again. dmesg rather unhelpfully just says "ADC timeout". Unclear how to debug further. See Attachment #3.


This required multiple hard reboots, but seems like all the RT models are back for now. The only indicator I can't explain is the red DC field on c1oaf. Also, the SUS model seems to be overclocking more frequently than usual, though I can't be sure. The "timing" field of this model's state word is RED, while the other models all seem fine. Not sure what could be going on.

Will debug further tomorrow, when I probably will have to do all this again as I'll need to recompile c1lsc for the ALS electronics test with the new ADC card from the differential AA board.

Attachment 1: CDS-recovery.png
Attachment 2: c1sus_timing.png
Attachment 3: c1sus_crashed.png
  13671   Thu Mar 8 15:23:16 2018 gautamUpdateElectronicsNew DC power ports at c1lsc

[Koji, Gautam]

Yesterday, we installed some new DIN rail connectors at the LSC rack to provide 3 new outputs each for +24V DC and -24V DC. The main motivation was to facilitate the installation and powering of the differential receiving AA board. The regulators used inside the 1U chassis actually claims a dropout voltage of 0.5V and outputs 14V nominally, so a +/-15V DC supply would've perhaps been sufficient, but we decided to leave a bit more margin, and unfortunately, there are no +/-18V DC KEPCO linear power supplies to the LSC rack. Procedure:

  1. Prepared a bunch of DIN rail connectors with tinned, daisy-chained wires in the office area. Checked continuity and isolation with DMM.
  2. Checked that the two Sorensens at the bottom of the LSC rack were powering the RF distribution box and nothing else at the LSC rack.
  3. Walked over to the little rack housing all the KEPCO DC power supplies that supply DC voltages to the LSC rack. After checking that the labelled voltage and current values were correct, we turned them off, first +/-5V, then +/-15V (2 sets), and finally +/-24V.
  4. Installed the pre-assembled DIN connectors on the side rail at the LSC rack (we had to remove the side panel for the rack to do this work).
    • We used the ports supplying power to the ALS 1U demod chassis (+/-24V DC) to tap these voltages to our newly installed connectors.
    • The interconnecting wires are rather thick gauge, and especially for the ground wire, we found it impossible to push in our tap-off wire into the "correct/hot" side of the DIN blocks. So we had to use the other side instead. I'll upload a picture shortly which will make this more clear.
    • Checked continuity and isolation with DMM.
    • Turned the KEPCOs back on in reverse order to how they were turned off.
    • Measured voltages on the hot side of the DIN blocks, confirmed that they were as expected.
  5. Prepared a 12AWG aLIGO style power cable to connect to the 1U chassis. A reel of this cabling, with yellow shielding, is located ~halfway along under the EW arm. Koji prepared the actual connector and housed it in a DSUB shell as per aLIGO wiring color scheme.
  6. Installed the power cabling to one set of our 3 newly installed +/-24V DC power supplies.
  7. Inserted fuses into the hot DIN blocks, measured voltage at connector end of our newly installed power cable. At first, I forgot to check if the fuse blocks had fuses inside, but after this was rectified, voltages were as expected yes.

The c1lsc frontend models crashed for some reason during this procedure. Now the c1sus frontend model is also behaving weirdly. It is unclear to me if/how this work would have led to these problems, but the temporal correlation (but not causation?) is undeniable.

  13672   Thu Mar 8 18:15:42 2018 gautamUpdateGeneralCDS recovery after work at LSC rack

I was forced into a simultaneous power-cycle rebooting of the three vertex FEs just now. I took the opportunity to completely disconnect the c1sus expansion chassis from all power and then restart it.

Everything is back up right now, and the weird timing issues I noticed in the sus model seem to be gone now (I'll need a longer baseline to be sure and I'll post a trend of the CPU timing tomorrow). It's disconcerting that apparently the only way to get everything back up and running is the nuclear option of power-cycling all FE related electronics. I was considering borrowing an ADC adapter card from the Y end and measuring the calibrated IR ALS noise with the digital system, but if I'm going to have to go through this whole dance each time I do a model recompile on c1lsc (which I'm going to have to in order to get the extra ADC recognized), I'm wondering if it's just better to wait till we get the new adapter cards we ordered. I think I'm going to work on tuning the input coupling into the fiber at EX in the next couple of days instead.


Seems like some high level voodoo indecision.

Edit 330pm: The model just crashed again. dmesg rather unhelpfully just says "ADC timeout". Unclear how to debug further. See Attachment #3.


  13673   Thu Mar 8 19:38:37 2018 gautamUpdateALSdigital unwhitening of daughter board

I made a LISO fit of the measured TF of the daughter board, so that I can digitally invert the daughter board whitening. Results attached. (Inverse) Filters have been uploaded to the ALS X Foton filter banks.

Attachment 1: TFfit.pdf
  13674   Thu Mar 8 23:50:27 2018 gautamUpdateALSFirst look at new ALS electronics
  • Locked single arms, dither aligned, and saved offsets to EPICS (slow) sliders in anticipation of having to reboot all vertex FEs.
  • Shutdown ETMY watchdog, stopped all models on c1iscey, and shutdown that frontend.
  • Walked down to Y-end, powered of c1iscey expansion chassis, and removed the ADC adaptor card.
  • Stopped all models on c1lsc. Shutdown watchdog on all optics in anticipation of c1sus model failing. Shutdown the c1lsc frontend.
  • Powered off the c1lsc expansion chassis. Installed the borrowed adapter card from c1iscey in c1lsc expansion chassis. Connected it to the "spare" ADC card Koji and I had installed in c1lsc expansion chassis last Wednesday.
  • Connected differential output of demod board to differential input of AA chassis. Connected SCSI connector from output of AA chassis to the newly installed adapter card.
  • Powered the c1lsc expansion chassis back on. Then powered c1lsc FE on.
  • Walking back out to the control room, I saw that all vertex FEs had crashed. I had to go back in and hard-reboot c1sus.
  • Before bringing back any models, I backed up the existing c1lsc model, and then modified c1x04 and c1lsc to use the newly acquired ALS signals for the X arm ALS signal chain.
  • Restarted all vertex FE models. Everything came back up smooth. DC light is still red on c1oaf but I didn't bother trying to rectify it tonight for these tests.
  • Reset appropriate LSC offsets with PSL shutter closed. Locked X arm on IR. Reset phase tracker servo gain for X arm ALS. Engaged slow temperature servo on EX laser.

Then I looked at  the spectrum, see Attachment #1. Disappointingly, it looks like the arm PDH servo is dominating the noise, and NOT unsuppressed EX laser frequency noise,. Not sure why this is so, and I'm feeling too tired to debug this tonight. But encouragingly, the performance of the new ALS signal chain looks very promising. Once I tune up the X arm loop, I'm confident that the ALS noise will be at least as good as the reference trace.

I am leaving c1iscey shutdown until this is fixed. So ETMY is not available for the moment.

Random factoid: Trying to print a DTT trace with LaTeX in the label text on pianosa causes the DTT window to completely crash - so if you dont save the .xml file, you lose your measurement.


I made a LISO fit of the measured TF of the daughter board, so that I can digitally invert the daughter board whitening. Results attached. (Inverse) Filters have been uploaded to the ALS X Foton filter banks.


Attachment 1: BeatMouth_OOL.pdf
  13675   Fri Mar 9 01:07:01 2018 gautamUpdateALSFirst look at new ALS electronics

[koji, gautam]

I was going to head out but then it occurred to me that I could do another simple test, which is to try and lock the X arm on ALS error signal (i.e. actuate on MC length to keep the beat between EX laser and PSL fixed, while the EX frequency is following the Xarm length). Comparing the in loop (i.e. ALS) error signal with the out-of-loop sensor (i.e. POX), it seems like POX is noisy. The curves were lined up by eye, by scaling the blue curve to match the red at the ~16Hz peaks. This supports my hypothesis in the previous elog. On the downside, could be anything. Electronics in the POX chain? The demod unit itself? Will look into it more tomorrow..

As an aside, controlling the arm with ALS error signal worked quite well, and the lock was maintained for ~1 hour.

Attachment 1: ALS_vs_POXnoise.pdf
  13678   Mon Mar 12 13:58:37 2018 gautamUpdateGeneralprojector light bulb blown

Bulb went out ~10am today. Looks like the lifetime of this bulb was <100 days.

Steve: bulb is arriving next week


Bulb  is replaced.

  13679   Mon Mar 12 22:08:31 2018 gautamUpdateALSNoisy POX

[kevin, gautam]

we tested my noisy POX hypothesis tonight. By locking the single arm with POX, the arm length is forced to follow PSL frequency, which is itself slaved to IMC length. From Attachment #1, there is no coherence between the arm control signal and MC_F. This suggests to me that the excess noise I am seeing in the arm control signal above 30 Hz is not originating from the PSL. It also seems unlikely that at >30Hz, anything mechanical is to blame. So I am sticking with the hypothesis that something is wonky with POX. For reference, a known "normal" arm control signal spectrum looks like the red curve in this elog.


Attachment 1: NoisyPOX_20180312.pdf
  13680   Mon Mar 12 23:57:31 2018 gautamUpdateALSNoisy POX

[kevin, gautam]

Kevin suggested I shouldn't be so lazy and test the POY spectrum as well. So we moved the timing card back to c1iscey, went through the usual dance of vertex machine reboots, and then got both single arm locks going. Attached spectrum shows that both POX and POY are noisy. I'm not sure what has changed that could cause this effect. The fact that both POX and POY appear uniformly bad, but that there is no coherence with MC_F, suggests to me that perhaps this has something to do with the work I did with Koji w.r.t. the power situation at the LSC rack. But we just checked that

  1. All the demod board front panel LED indicators are green.
  2. Marconi and all RF amplifier boxes are on (but we didn't actually measure any RF power levels yet tonight).
  3. We checked the KEPCO power supplies in the little cabinet along the Yarm, and all of them are reporting the correct voltages/currents as per Steve's (recently updated) labels.
  4. Checked the expansion chassis at the LSC rack for any red lights, there were none.

Another observation we made: note the huge bump around 70Hz in both arm control signals. We don't know what the cause of this is. But we occassionally noticed harmonics of this (i.e. 140, 210 Hz etc) appear in the control signal spectra, and they would grow with time - eventually, the X arm would lose lock (though the Y arm stayed locked).

I'm short on ideas for now so we will continue debugging tomorrow.

Unrelated to this work: Kevin reminded me that the high-pitched whine from the CRT TVs in the control room (which is apparently due to the flyback transformer) is DEAFENING. It's curious that the "chirp" to the eventual 15kHz whine is in opposite directions for the QUAD CRTs and the single display ones. Should be a Ph6 experiment maybe.

Update 2:30pm Mar 13: The furthest back I seem to be able to go in time with Frames is ~Jan 20 2018. Looking for a time when the arms were locked from back then, it seems like whatever is responsible for a noisy POX and POY was already a problem back in January. See Attachment #2. So it appears that the recent work at 1Y2 is not to blame...

Attachment 1: NoisyPOXandPOY_20180312.pdf
Attachment 2: noisyPOX_Jan2018.pdf
  13688   Mon Mar 19 15:02:29 2018 gautamUpdateALSNoisy MC sensing

The working hypothesis, since the excess noise in single arm locks is coherent between both arms, the excess sensing noise is frequency noise in the IMC locking loop (sensing because it doesn't show up in MC_F). I've started investigating the IMC sensing chain, starting with the power levels of the RF modulation source. Recall that we had changed the way the 29.5MHz signal was sent to the EOM and demod electronics in 2017. With the handheld RF power meter, I measured 13.2dBm coming out of the RF distribution box (this is routed straight from the Wenzel oscillator). This is amplified to 26dBm by an RF amplifier (ZHL-2-S) and sent to the EOM, with a coupled 16dBm part sent to a splitter that supplies the LO signal to the demod board and also the WFS boards. Lydia made a summary of expected RF power levels here, and I too seem to have labelled the "nominal" LO level to the MC_REFL demod board as +5dBm. But I measured 2.7dBm with the RF power meter. But looking closely at the schematic of the splitting circuitry, I think for a (measured) 16.7dBm input to it, we should in fact expect around 3dBm of output signal. So I don't know why I labelled the "nominal" signal level as 5dBm.

Bottom line: we are driving a level 17 mixer with more like +14dBm (a number inferred from this marked up schematic) of LO, which while isn't great, is unlikely to explain the excess noise I think (the conversion loss just degrades by ~1dB). So I will proceed to check further downstream in the signal chain.

  13689   Mon Mar 19 23:44:00 2018 gautamUpdateIOOIMC loop checkup

[koji, gautam]

  1. I began my investigations by measuring the voltage noise of the demod board outputs with an SR560 (G=100) and SR785 in the audio band.
    • Measurement made with PSL shutter closed, LO input of demod board driven with the nominal level of ~2.5dBm, RF input terminated.
    • Motivation was to look for any noise features.
    • Expected noise level is ~2nV/rtHz (Johnson noise of 50ohm) since there are no preamp electronics post SCLF-5 LP filter on this board.
    • Attachment #1 shows the results of the measurement for a few scenarios. Spectra only shown for the I channel but the Q channel was similar. The LO=+5dBm curve corresponds to driving the input at 5dBm with a marconi, to see if the label of the nominal level being +5dBm had anything to it.
    • The arches above 1kHz seemed suspicious to me, so I decided to investigate further.
  2. Looking at the IMC Demod board schematic, I I saw that there were 2 ERA-5SMs in there which are responsible for amplifying the 29.5MHz signal which serves as the LO to the oscillators.
  3. I pulled the demod board out and tested it on the electronics workbench. Koji and I couldn't make sense of the numbers we were seeing (all measurements made with Agilent analyzer and active FET probe with 100:1 attentuator).
  4. We eventually concluded that the ERA-5SMs were not exhibiting the expected gain of ~20dB. So we decided to swap these out.
  5. This sort of measurement is not ironclad as the output of the ERA-5SM goes to the mixer whose input impedance is dynamically varying as the diodes are switching. So even after replacing the suspect amplifiers with new ones, we couldn't make the numbers jive.
  6. We suspected that the new amplifiers were getting saturated. The 3dB saturation point for the ERA-5SM is spec'ed as ~19dBm.
    • We "measured" this by varying the input signal level and looking for deviation from linearity.
    • We saw that there was ~1dB compression for ~13dBm output from the ERA-5SM (after correcting for all attenuators etc). But this number may not be accurate in the absolute sense because of the unknown input impedance of the mixer.
    • Moreover, looking at the spec sheet for the mixer, JMS-1H, we found that while it wasn't ideal to operate the mixer with the LO level a few dBm below the expected +17dBm, it probably wasn't a show stopper.
  7. So we figured that we need 10dB of attenuation between the "nominal" LO input level of 2.7dBm and the input of the demod board in order to keep the ERA-5SM in the linear range. This has now been implemented in the form of an SMA attenuator.
  8. IMC locked straight away. But I noticed that PC drive RMS level was unusually large.
  9. I found that by increasing the "IN1" gain of the CM board to 12dB (from 2dB) and the "VCO gain" to 10dB (from 7dB), I could recover a transfer function with UGF ~140kHz and PM ~30degrees (need more systematic and wider span measurements of this, and also probably need to optimize the crossover gains). See Attachment #2 for my quick measurement tonight.
  10. Updated mcup to reflect these new gains. Tested autolocker a few times, seems to work okay.
  11. While it presumably was a good thing to replace the faulty amplifiers and prevent them from saturating, this work has not solved the primary problem of excess frequency noise on the PSL.

It is not clear to me why installing an attenuator to prevent amplifier saturation has necessitated a 10dB increase in the IN1 gain and 3dB increase in the VCO gain. Initially, I was trying to compensate for the gain by increasing the FSS "Common Gain" but in that setting, I found an OLTF measurement impossible. The moment I enabled the excitation input to the CM board, the lock was blown, even with excitation amplitudes as small as -60dBm (from the Agilent network analyzer).

This may also be a good opportunity to test out one of the aLIGO style FET mixer demod boards (recall we have 2 spare from the 4 that were inside the ALS demod box). I'm going to ask Steve to package these into a 1U chassis so that I can try that setup out sometime. From a noise point of view, the aLIGO boards have the advantage of having a x100 preamp stage straight after the mixer+LPF. We may need to replace the lowpass filter though, I'm not sure if the one installed is 1.9MHz or 5MHz.

I've left an SR785 and AG4395 near 1X2 in anticipation of continuing this work tomorrow.

Unrelated to this work - seems like the WFS DC and RF offsets had not been set in a while so I reset these yesterday. The frequent model restarts in recent times may mean that we have to reset these to avoid using dated offset values.

Attachment 1: IMC_RF_noise.pdf
Attachment 2: IMC_OLTF_20180320.pdf
  13690   Tue Mar 20 16:53:03 2018 gautamUpdateIOOIMC loop checkup

Re-measured the demod board noises after replacing the suspect ERA-5SMs, with LO driven by a marconi at the "nominal" level of 2.5dBm, and RF input terminated. Attachment #1 is the input referred voltage noise spectra. I used the FET low noise pre-amp box for this purpose. I cannot explain the shape of the spectra above 1kHz. I tried doing the measurement on a minicircuits mixer (non-surface mount) and found the shape to be flat throughout the SR785 span. Unclear what else could be going on in the demod board though, all the other components on it are passive (except the ERA-5SMs which were replaced). I considered adopting a PMC style demod setup where we do the demod using some separate Minicircuits Mixer+LowPass filter combo. But the RF flashes for the IMC monitored at the RFmon port are ~0.2Vpp, and so the RF input to the mixer is expected to be ~2Vpp. The minicircuits mixer selection guide recommends choosing a diode mixer with LO level at least 10dBm above the expected RF input signal level, and we don't have any standalone mixers that are >Level 7. I've asked Steve to package the aLIGO demod board in the meantime, but even that might not be a plug and play replacement as the IF preamp stage has ~120degrees phase lag at 1MHz, which is significantly higher than the existing board which just has a SCLF5 low pass filter after the mixer and hence has <45degrees phase lag at 1MHz.

Attachment 1: IMC_RF_noise.pdf
  13692   Tue Mar 20 19:48:10 2018 gautamUpdatePEMtest setup

according to the temp sensor readout, which was ~-3.35V which corresponds to ~335K, the temperature of the can is now 60 deg C. This is a bit warm for my liking so i'm turning the heater current down to 0 now by writing 0 to C1:PEM-SEIS_EX_TEMP_CTRL

  13693   Tue Mar 20 21:08:03 2018 gautamUpdateIOOIMC loop checkup

This elog by koji inspired me to consider power supply as a possible issue.

The demod board receives +/-24V DC (which is regulated down to +/-15V DC by 7815/7915), and also +15V DC via the backplane. The ERA-5SM receives DC power from the latter (unregulated) +15V DC. I can't think of why this is the case except perhaps the regulators can't source the current the amp wants? In any case, it doesn't look feasible to change this by cutting any traces on the PCB to me. While I had the board out, I decided to replace the JMS-1H mixers in a last ditch effort to improve the demod board noise. Unfortunately I'm having trouble de-soldering these MCL components from the board. So for now, I'm leaving the demod board out, IMC unlocked. Work will continue tomorrow. 

  13694   Tue Mar 20 22:44:45 2018 gautamUpdateIOOIMC loop checkup

After some persistence, I managed to get the mixers off.

  • Having gotten the mxiers off, I decided to temporarily solder on 50ohms between the LO pin pad and ground on the demod board and measure the RF signal levels in the LO chain with the active probe again.
  • Today, with this change, I confirmed that the ERA-5SM begins to saturate closer to the +19dBm advertised on its datasheet. So we need only 2dB of attenuation at the input to have 17dBm at the LO pin of the mixer, assuming 50ohm input impedance.
  • But this begs the question - what does minicircuits mean by a Level-YY mixer? Do they expect YY dBm delivered to a 50ohm load? Or do we need to supply YY dBm accounting for the dynamically changing input impedance of the mixer, as monitored by a high impedance probe?
  • I soldered on some new mixers (JMS-1H) I procured from Downs earlier today.
  • Re-installed the demod board in the eurocrate.

Unfortunately, the coherent noise between the arms persists so the sensing noise injection must be happening elsewhere. frownIMC seems to lock fine though so I'm leving the autolocker on

  13696   Wed Mar 21 15:52:45 2018 gautamUpdateIOOMC error point calibration

As discussed at the meeting, I decided to calibrate the MC error point into physical units of Hz/rtHz (a.k.a. the PDH discriminant). This is to facilitate the debugging of the hypothesized excess IMC sensing noise. I did this as follows.

  1. Trust the POX calibration that was last updated in Aug 2017.
  2. Hook up spare DAC channel (piped from LSC rack to 1X2) to IN2 of IMC CM board.
  3. Inject excitation into MC error point via "IN2" input of the common board. For an excitation of 30cts with the IN2 gain at -32dB, I was able to see a peak in the calibrated X arm control signal that was ~x10 above the nominal noise level around 150Hz without seeing any nonlinear coupling effects in the DTT spectrum (I'm assuming 150Hz is sufficiently above the UGF of the X arm locking loop such that no loop correction is necessary).
  4. Took a spectrum of the IMC error signal, teed off into the SR785 at the I output of the demod board with the same linewidth as the DTT spectrum.
  5. Confirmed that without any excitation,
  6. Did the math to make these two peaks line up. The resulting calibration is: 13kHz/Vrms.

Math details:

  • DTT peak height @ 150 Hz with Hanning window, 25 avgs = 1.97e-4 nm/rtHz (See Attachment #1).
  • X arm cavity length = 37.79m, using which the above number becomes 1.47 Hz/rtHz.
  • Peak height in SR785 spectrum with Hanning window, 25 avgs = 1.13e-4 Vrms/rtHz (See Attachment #2).
  • Dividing, we get 13kHz/Vrms.

Using this, I can now make up a noise budget of sorts for the IMC sensing.

gautam 20180327 4.30pm: I re-checked the PDH error signal calibration using the oscilloscope method. Attachment #3 shows the PDH I and Q error signals and also the output of the RF monitor port, during a TEM00 flash. This attachment should be compared to Attachment #2 of elog 12822, and the answer lines up quite well. From my Finesse model of the IMC, I calculated that the x-axis of the PDH horn-to-horn is ~12.3kHz. Comparing to the top row of Attachment #3, I get a PDH error signal calibration of ~12.4kHz/Vrms, which lines up well with the number quoted above. So I trust my calibration, and hence, the y-axis of my noise budgets in reply to this elog.

Attachment 1: IMC_PDHdisc_20180321.pdf
Attachment 2: IMC_PDHdisc785_20180321.pdf
Attachment 3: IMC_oscope.pdf
  13697   Wed Mar 21 17:31:21 2018 gautamUpdateIOOMC error point calibration

I did a preliminary noise budget of the transmitted frequency noise of the IMC. Attachment #1 shows the NB. I'm going to use this opportunity to revisit my IMC modeling. Some notes:

  1. The blue, green and red traces are from my measurement of the voltage noise of the demod board with LO driven by Marconi, RF input terminated, measured using the FET preamp + SR785, and calibrated into Hz/rtHz using the number from the immediate preceeding entry.
  2. The grey trace is measured by closing the PSL shutter, manually engaging the POX11 whitening, and looking at the calibrated POX. This sensing noise is ~100x higher than the IMC curves - but I think this makes sense as for the IMC, I am measuring directly at the output of the demod board, whereas for POX, the signal goes through the whole whitening infrastructure first.
  3. The purple trace is the calibrated X-arm control signal converted to Hz/rtHz.
  4. I've only showed the region up to ~1kHz as this is where the excess noise was seen in the original ALS study that precipitated this whole investigation.

Conclusion: From this study, assuming my PDH discriminant calibration was correct, looks like IMC demod / POX11 demod electronics noises are not to blame (this surprises me since there were apparently so many things wrong on the demod board, and yet that wasn't the worst thing in the IMC chain it would seem frown). The POX11 photodiode "dark" noise is also not the problem I think, given the grey curve. Next curve to go on here is the demod board noise with the PSL shutter closed but the IMC REFL PD connected to the RF input (or maybe even better, have light on the PD, but macroscopically misalign MC2 so there is no 29.5MHz PDH signal), just to make sure there isn't anything funky going on there...


Using this, I can now make up a noise budget of sorts for the IMC sensing.


Attachment 1: IMC_RF_noise_calib.pdf
  13698   Wed Mar 21 21:13:44 2018 gautamUpdateIOOIMC noise budget

I've added two curves to the NB. Both are measured (with FET preamp) at the output of the demod board, with the LO driven at the nominal level by the Wenzel RF source pickoff (as it would be when the IMC is locked) and the RF input connected to the IMC REFL PD. For one curve, I simply closed the PSL shutter, while for the other, I left the PSL shutter open, but macroscopically misaligned MC2 so that there was no IMC cavity. So barring RFAM, there should be no PDH signal on the REFL PD, but I wanted to have light on there. I'm not sure if I understand the difference between these two curves though, need to think on it. Perhaps the IMC REFL PD's optical/electrical response needs to be characterized?


Next curve to go on here is the demod board noise with the PSL shutter closed but the IMC REFL PD connected to the RF input (or maybe even better, have light on the PD, but macroscopically misalign MC2 so there is no 29.5MHz PDH signal), just to make sure there isn't anything funky going on there...


Attachment 1: IMC_RF_noise_calib.pdf
  13706   Mon Mar 26 21:40:26 2018 gautamSummaryIOOMC2 classical radiation pressure noise

[rana, gautam]

we measured the RIN of the MC2 transmission using the PDA255 I had put on the MC2 trans table sometime ago for ringdowns. Attached are (i) spectra for the RIN, (ii) spectra for the classical rad. pressure noise assuming 500W circulating power and (iii) a tarball of data and code used to generate these plots.

We took a full span measurement (to make sure there aren't any funky high-freq features) and a measurement from DC-800 Hz (where we are looking for excess noise). The DC level of light on the photodiode was 2.76V (measured using o'scope)

I'll add this to the noise budget later. But the measured RIN seems consistent with a 2013 measurement at 100Hz (though the 2013 measurement is using DTT and so doesn't have high frequency information).

Attachment 1: IMC_RIN.pdf
Attachment 2: IMC_RadPress.pdf
Attachment 3: MC2_radPress.tgz
  13707   Mon Mar 26 23:49:27 2018 gautamUpdateGeneralNew ADC Adaptor Board installed in C1LSC expansion chassis

Todd informed me that the ADC Timing adaptor boards we had ordered arrived today. I had to solder on the components and connectors as per the schematic, though the main labor was in soldering the high density connectors. I then proceeded to shut down all models on c1lsc (and then the FE itself). Then classic problem of all vertex machines crashing when unloading models on c1lsc happened (actually Koji noticed that this was happening even on c1ioo). Anyways this was nothing new so I decided to push ahead. 

I had to get a cable from Downs that connects the actual GS ADC card to this adaptor board. I powered off the expansion chassis, installed the adaptor board, connected it to the ADC card and restarted the expansion chassis and also the FE. I also reconnected the SCSI cable from the AA board to the adaptor card. It was a bit of a struggle to get all the models back up and running again, but everything eventually came back(after a few rounds of hard rebooting). I then edited the c1x04 and c1lsc simulink models to reflect the new path for the X arm ALS error signals. Seems to work alright.

At some point in the afternoon, I noticed a burning smell concentrated near the PSL table. Koji traced the smell down to the c1lsc expansion chassis. We immediately powered the chassis off. But Steve later informed me that he had already noticed an odd burning smell in the morning, before I had done any work at the LSC rack. Looking at the newly installed adaptor card, there wasn't any visual evidence of burning. So I decided to push ahead and try and reboot all models. Everything came back up normally eventually, see Attachment #1. Particle count in the lab seems a little higher than usual (actually, according to my midnight measurement, they are ~factor of 10 lower than Steve's 8am measurements), but Steve didn't seem to think we should read too much into this. Let's monitor the situation over the coming days, Steve should comment on the large variance seen in the particle counter output which seems to span 2 orders of magnitude depending on the time of the day the measurement is made... Also note that there is a BIO card in the C1LSC expansion chassis that is powered by a lab power supply unit. It draws 0 current, even though the label on it says otherwise. I a not sure if the observed current draw is in line with expectations.

The spare (unstuffed) adaptor cards we ordered, along with the necessary hardware to stuff them, are in the Digital FE hardware cabinet along the east arm.

Steve:  particle count in the 40m is following outside count, wind direction, weather condition .....etc. The lab particle count is NOT logged ! This is bad practice.

Attachment 1: CDS_20180326.png
  13708   Tue Mar 27 01:39:44 2018 gautamUpdateIOOPSL noise eater was off

While Kevin and Arijit were doing their MC_REFL PD noise measurements (which they will elog about separately shortly), I noticed a feature around 600kHz that reminded me of the NPRO noise eater feature. This is supposed to suppress the relaxation oscillation induced peak in the RIN of the PSL. Surprisingly, the noise eater switch on the NPRO front panel was set to "OFF". Is this the normal operating state? I thought we want the noise eater to be "ON"? Have to measure the RIN on the PSL table itself with one of the many available pick off PDs. In any case, as Attachment #1 showed, turning the noise eater back on did not improve the excess IMC frequency noise.

Attachment 1: IR_ALS_20180326.pdf
  13712   Tue Mar 27 23:37:35 2018 gautamUpdateIOOMC REFL PD removed

I've removed the MC REFL PD unit from the AS table for investigation. So MC won't lock.

PSL shutter was closed and location of PD was marked with sharpie (placing guides to indicate position wasn't convenient). I also kapton taped the PD to minimize dust settling on the PD while I have it out in the electronics area. Johannes has the camera, and my cellphone image probably isn't really high-res enough for diagnostics but I'm posting it here anyways for what it's worth. More importantly - the board is a D980454 revision B judging by the board, but there is no schematic for this revision on the DCC. The closest I can find is a D980454 Rev D. But I can already see several differences in the component layout (though not all of them may be important). Making a marked up schematic is going to be a pain indecision. I'm also not sure what the specific make of the PD installed is.

The lid of the RF cage wasn't on.

More to follow tomorrow, PD is on the electronics workmench for now...

gautam 28 March 2018: Schematic has been found from secret Dale stash (which exists in addition to the secret Jay stash). It has also been added to the 40m electronics tree.

Attachment 1: IMG_6955.JPG
  13715   Wed Mar 28 21:31:39 2018 gautamUpdateIOOMC REFL PD removed

I re-installed the MC REFL photodiode. Centered beam on the PD by adjusting steering mirror to maximize the DC signal level (on o'scope) at the DC monitoring port. Curiously, the DC level on the scope (high-Z) was ~2.66V DC, whereas the MEDM screen reports ~twice that value, at ~5.44 "V". We may want to fix this "calibration" (or better yet, use physical units like mW). Noise-eater On/Off comparison of MC error signals to follow.

  13727   Wed Apr 4 16:23:39 2018 gautamUpdateCDSslow machine bootfest

[johannes, gautam]

It's been a while - but today, all slow machines (with the exception of c1auxex) were un-telnetable. c1psl, c1iool0, c1susaux, c1iscaux1, c1iscaux2, c1aux and c1auxey were rebooted. Usual satellite box unplugging was done to avoid ITMX getting stuck.

  13729   Thu Apr 5 10:38:38 2018 gautamUpdateCDSCDS puzzle

I'm probably doing something stupid - but I've not been able to figure this out. In the MC1 and MC3 coil driver filter banks, we have a digital "28HzELP" filter module in FM9. Attachment #1 shows the MC1 filterbanks. In the shown configuration, I would expect the only difference between the "IN1" and "OUT" testpoints to be the transfer function of said ELP filter, after all, it is just a bunch of multiplications by filter coefficients. But yesterday looking at some DTT traces, their shapes looked suspicious. So today, I did the analysis entirely offline (motivation being to rule out DTT weirdness) using scipy's welch. Attachment #2 shows the ASDs of the IN1 and OUT testpoint data (collected for 30s, fft length is set to 2 seconds, and hanning window from scipy is used). I've also plotted the "expected" spectral shape, by loading the sos coefficients from the filter file and using scipy to compute the transfer function.

Clearly, there is a discrepancy for f>20Hz. Why?

Code used to generate this plot (and also a datafile to facilitate offline plotting) is attached in the tarball Attachment #3. Note that I am using a function from my Noise Budget repo to read in the Foton filter file...

*ChrisW suggested ruling out spectral leakage. I re-ran the script with (i) 180 seconds of data (ii) fft length of 15 seconds and (iii) blackman-harris window instead of Hanning. Attachment #4 shows similar discrepancy between expectation and measurement...

Attachment 1: MC1_outputs.png
Attachment 2: EllipTFCheck_MC1.pdf
Attachment 3: MC1_ELP.tgz
Attachment 4: EllipTFCheck_MC1.pdf
  13731   Thu Apr 5 13:46:42 2018 gautamUpdateSUSbig earthquake

Seems like there was a 5.3 magnitude EQ ~10km from us (though I didn't feel it). All watchdogs were tripped so our mirrors definitely felt it. ITMX is stuck (but all the other optics are damping fine). I tried the usual jiggling of DC bias voltage but ITMX still seems stuck. Probably a good sign that the magnet hasn't come off, but not ideal that I can't shake it free..

edit: after a bit more vigorous shaking, ITMX was freed. I had to move the bias slider by +/-10,000 cts, whereas initially I was trying +/-2000 cts. There is a tendency for the optic to get stuck again once it has been freed (while the optic's free swinging motion damps out), so I had to keep an eye out and as soon as the optic was freed, I re-engaged the damping servos to damp out the optic motion quickly.

Attachment 1: EQ_April52018.png
  13732   Thu Apr 5 19:31:17 2018 gautamUpdateCDSEPICS processes for c1ioo dead

I found all the EPICS channels for the model c1ioo on the FE c1ioo to be blank just now. The realtime model itself seemed to be running fine, judging by the IMC alignment (as the WFS loops seemed to still be running okay). I couldn't find any useful info in demsg but I don't know what I'm looking for. So my guess is that somehow the EPICS process for that model died. Unclear why.

  13733   Fri Apr 6 10:00:29 2018 gautamUpdateCDSCDS puzzle

Clearly, there is a discrepancy for f>20Hz. Why?

Spectral leakage

  13734   Fri Apr 6 16:07:18 2018 gautamUpdateCDSFrequent EPICS dropouts

Kira informed me that she was having trouble accessing past data for her PID tuning tests. Looking at the last day of data, it looks like there are frequent EPICS data dropouts, each up to a few hours. Observations (see Attachment #1 for evidence):

  1. Problem seems to be with writing these EPICS channels to frames, as the StripTool traces do not show the same discontinuities.
  2. Problem does not seem local to c1auxex (new Acromag machine). These dropouts are also happening in other EPICS channel records. I have plotted PMC REFL, which is logged by the slow machine c1psl, and you can see the dropouts happen at the same times.
  3. Problem does not seem to happen to the fast channel DQ records (see ETMX Sensor record plotted for 24 hours, there are no discontinuties).

It is difficult to diagnose how long this has been going on for, as once you start pulling longer stretches of data on dataviewer, any "data freezes" are washed out in the extent of data plotted.

Attachment 1: EPICS_dropout.png
  13737   Fri Apr 6 21:39:09 2018 gautamUpdateIOOMC2 suspension health checkup

While Kevin is working on the MC2 electronics chain - we disconnected the output to the optic (DB15 connector on coil driver board). I decided to look at the 'free' freeswinging MC2 OSEM shadow sensor data. Attachment #1 suggests that the suspension eigenmodes are showing up in the shadow sensors, but the 0.8Hz peak seems rather small, especially compared to the result presented in this elog.

Maybe I'll kick all 3 MC optics tonight and let them ringdown overnight, may not be a bad idea to checkup on the health of the MC suspensions/satellite boxes... [MC suspensions were kicked @1207113574]. PSL shutter will remain closed overnight...


Why is MC2 LR so different from the others???


Attachment 1: MC2_Freeswinging.pdf
  13741   Mon Apr 9 18:46:03 2018 gautamUpdateIOOFurther debugging
  1. I analyzed the data from the free swinging MC test conducted over the weekend. Attachment #1 shows the spectra. Color scheme is same for all panels.
    • I am suspicious of MC3: why does the LR coil see almost no Yaw motion?
    • The "equilibrium" values of all the sensor signals (at the IN1 of the coil input filters) are within 20% of each other (for MC3, but also MC1 and MC2).
    • The position resonance is also sensed more by the side coil than by the LR coil.
    • To rule out satellite box shenanigans, I just switched the SRM and MC3 satellite boxes. But coherence between frequency noise as sensed by the arms remain.
  2. I decided to clean up my IMC nosie budget a bit more.
    • Attachment #2 shows the NB as of today. I'll choose a better color palette for the next update.
    • "Seismic" trace is estimated using the 40m gwinc file - the MC2 stack is probably different from the others and so it's contribution is probably more, but I think this will suffice for a first estimate.
    • "RAM" trace is measured at the CM board input, with MC2 misaligned.
    • The unaccounted noise is evident from above ~8 Hz.
    • More noises will be added as they are measured.
    • I am going to spend some time working on modeling the CM board noise and TF in LTspice. I tried getting a measurement of the transfer function fron IN1 to the FAST output of the CM board with the SR785 (motivation being to add the contribution of the input referred CM board noise to the NB plot), but I suspect I screwed up something w.r.t. the excitation amplitude, as I am getting a totally nonsensical shape, which also seems to depend on my input excitation amplitude. I don't think the output is saturated (viewed during measurement on a scope), but perhaps there are some subtle effects going on.
Attachment 1: MC_Freeswinging.pdf
Attachment 2: IMC_NB_20180409.pdf
  13744   Tue Apr 10 14:28:44 2018 gautamUpdateIOOFurther debugging

I am working on IMC electronics. IMC is misaligned until further notice.

  13746   Wed Apr 11 01:34:31 2018 gautamUpdateIOOActivities today

[kevin, gautam]

activities done today - details/plots/data/evidence tomorrow.

  1. Checked XARM loop shape. Updated NB code to fetch POX data from NDS and undo loop shape rather than using calibration filter bank.
  2. Checked POX loop calibration (m/ct). Number I was using was 8e-13. Tonight we measured 9e-13. Updated filter bank.
  3. Tried to get Y arm green ALS going.
    • Improved GTRY from ~0.05 to 0.3.
    • Tried to improve mode matching onto BBPD on PSL table to see a green beat.
    • But we were unsuccessful.
    • I think I got the near and far field alignment right, and the EY laser temp is set such that I can see an IR beat @~30MHz (so green beat should be at 60 MHz).
    • But I couldn't see anything with scope or with HP spec analyzer.
    • More tomorrow. Motivation to get green ALS working is to get some more confidence that the excess noise is indeed on the PSL light.
  13749   Thu Apr 12 18:12:49 2018 gautamUpdateALSNPRO channels hijacked


  1. Today, the measured IR ALS noise for the X arm was dramatically improved. The main change was that I improved the alignment of the PSL pickoff beam into its fiber coupler.
  2. The noise level was non-stationary, leading me to suspect power modulation of the RF beat amplitude.
  3. I am now measuring the stability of the power in the two polarizations coming from EX table to the PSL table, using the PSL diagnostic connector channels.
  4. The EX beam is S-polarized when it is coupled into the fiber. The PSL beam is P-polarized. However, it looks like I have coupled light along orthogonal axes into the fiber, such that when the EX light gets to the PSL table, most of it is in the P-polarization, as judged by my PER measurement setup (i.e. the alignment keys at the PSL table and at the EX table are orthogonal). So it still seems like there is something to be gained by trying to improve the PER a bit more.


Today, I decided to check the power coupled into the PSL fiber for the BeatMouth. Surprisingly, it was only 200uW, while I had ~3.15mW going into it in January. Presumably some alignment drifting happened. So I re-aligned the beam into the fiber using the steering mirror immediately before the fiber coupler. I managed to get ~2.9mW in without much effort, and I figured this is sufficient for a first pass, so I didn't try too much more. I then tried making an ALS beat spectrum measurement (arm locked to IMC length using POX, green following the arm using end PDH servo). Surprisingly, the noise performannce was almost as good as the reference! See Attachment #1, in which the red curve is an IR beat (while all others are green beats). The Y arm green beat performance isn't stellar, but one problem at a time. Moreover, the kind of coherence structure between the arm error signal and the ALS beat signal that I reported here was totally absent today.

Upon further investigation, I found that the noise level was actually breathing quite significantly on timescales of minutes. While I was able to successfully keep the TEM00 mode of the PSL beam resonant inside the arm cavity by using the ALS beat frequency as an error signal and MC2 as a frequency actuator, the DC stability was very poor and TRX was wandering around by 50%. So my new hypothesis is that the excess ALS noise is because of one or more of

  • Beam jitter at coupling point into fiber.
  • Polarization drift of the IR beams.

While I did some work in trying to align the PSL IR pickoff into the fiber along the fast (P-pol) axis, I haven't done anything for the X end pickoff beam. So perhaps the fluctuations in the EX IR power is causing beatnote amplitude fluctuations. In the delay line + phase tracker frequency discriminator, I think RF beatnote amplitude fluctuations can couple into phase noise linearly. For such an apparently important noise source, I can't remeber ever including it in any of the ALS noise budgets.

Before Ph237 today, I decided to use my polarization monitoring setup and check the "RIN" of power in the two polarizations coming out of the fiber on the PSL table. For this purpose, I decided to hijack the Acromag channels used for the PSL diagnostics connector Attachment #2 shows that there is fluctuations at the level of ~10% in the p-polarization. This is the "desired" polarization in that I aligned the PSL beam into the fiber to maximize the power in this polarization. So assuming the power fluctuations in the PSL beam are negligible, this translates to sqrt(10) ~3% fluctuation in the RF beat amplitude. This is at best a conservative estimate, as in reality, there is probably more AM because of the non PM fibers inside the beatmouth.

All of this still doesn't explain the coherence between the measured ALS noise and the arm error signal at 100s of Hz (which presumably can only happen via frequency noise in the PSL).

Another "mystery" - yesterday, while I was working on recovering the Y arm green beat signal on the PSL table, I eventually got a beat signal that was ~20mVpp into 50ohms, which is approximately the same as what I measured when the Y arm ALS performance was "nominal", more than a year ago. But while viewing the Y arm beats (green and IR) simultaneously on an o'scope, I wasn't able to keep both signals synchronised while triggering on one (even though the IR beat frequency was half the green beat frequency). This means there is a huge amount of relative phase noise between the green and IR beats. What (if anything) does this mean? The differential noise between these two beats should be (i) phase noise at the fiber coupler/ inside the fiber itself, and (ii) scatter noise in the green light transmitted through the cavity. Is it "expected" that the relative phase noise between these two signals is so large that we can't view both of them on a common trigger signal on an o'scope? surpriseAlso - the green mode-matching into the Y arm is abysmal.

Anyways - I'm going to try and tweak the PER and mode-matching into the X end fiber a little and monitor the polarization stability (nothing too invasive for now, eventually, I want to install the new fiber couplers I acquired but for now I'll only change alignment into and rotation of the fiber coupler on the EX table). It would also be interesting to compare my "optimized" PSL drift to the unoptimized EX power drift. So the PSL diagnostic channels will not show any actual PSL diagnostic information until I plug it back in. But I suspect that the EPICS record names and physical channel wiring are wrong anyways - I hooked up my two photodiode signals into what I would believe is the "Diode 1 Power" and "Laser crystal temperature" monitors (as per the schematic), but the signals actually show up for me in "Diode 2 Power" (p-pol) and "Didoe 1 Temperature" (s-pol).

Annoyingly, there is no wiring diagram - on my todo list i guess...

@Steve - could you please take a photo of the EX table and update the wiki? I think the photo we have is a bit dated, the fiber coupler and transmon PDs aren't in it...

Attachment 1: IR_ALS_20180412.pdf
Attachment 2: BeatMouthDrift.png
Attachment 3: ETMX_20180416.jpg
  13751   Fri Apr 13 11:02:41 2018 gautamUpdateALSEX fiber polarization drift

Attachment #1 shows the drift of the polarization content of the light from EX entering the BeatMouth. Seems rather large (~10%). I'm going to tweak the X end fiber coupling setup a bit to see if this can be improved. This performance is also a good benchmark to compare the PSL IR light polarization drift. I am going to ask Steve to order Thorlabs K6XS, which has a locking screw for the rotational DoF. With this feature, and by installing some HWPs at the input coupling point, we can ensure that we are coupling light into one of the special axes in a much more deterministic way. 

Attachment 1: EX_pol_drift.png
  13752   Fri Apr 13 16:59:12 2018 gautamUpdateALSEX green mode-matching



Mode-matching efficiency of EX green light into the arm cavity is ~70*%, as measured using the visibility. 


I wanted to get an estimate for the mode-matching of the EX green beam into the arm cavity. I did the following:

  1. Locked arm cavities to IR. Ran dither alignment servos to maximize the transmission of IR on both arms. The X arm dither alignment servo needs some touching up, I can achieve higher TRX by hand than by running the dither.
  2. Aligned green PZT mirrors so as to maximize GTRX. Achieved level as 0.47.
  3. Went to EX table and tweaked the two available mode-matching lens positions on their translational stages. Saw a quadratic maximum of GTRX about some equilibrium position (where the lenses are now).
  4. Measured average value of the green PDH reflection DC level whiel green TEM00 mode was locked. P_{\mathrm{locked}} = 716 \mathrm{cts}.
  5. Misaligned ITMX macroscopically. Measured the average value of the green PDH reflection DC level again. P_{\mathrm{misaligned}} = 3800 \mathrm{cts}.
  6. Closed EX Green shutter. Measured the average value of the green PDH reflection DC level. P_{\mathrm{dark}} = 30 \mathrm{cts}.
  7. Modulation depth of the EX PDH was determined to be 90mrad. Based on this, power in sideband is negligible compared to power in the carrier, so I didn't bother correcting for sideband power in reflection.
  8. Mode-matching efficiency calculated as \frac{P_{\mathrm{misaligned}} - P_{\mathrm{locked}}}{P_{\mathrm{misaligned}} + P_{\mathrm{locked}} - 2P_{\mathrm{dark}} }.


This amount of mode-matching is rather disappointing - using a la mode, the calculated mode-matching efficiency is nearly 100%, but 70% is a far cry from this. The fact that I can't improve this number by either tweaking the steering or by moving the MM lenses around suggests that the estimate of the target arm mode is probably incorrect (the non-gaussianity of the input beam itself is not quantified yet, but I don't believe this input beam can account for 30% mismatch). For the Y-arm, the green REFL DC level is actually higher when locked than when ITMY is misaligned. WTF?? surpriseOnly explanation I can think of is that the PD is saturated when green is unlocked - but why does the ADC saturate at ~3000cts and not 32000?

This data is almost certainly bogus as the AA box at 1X9 is powered by +/-5VDC and not +/-15VDC. I didn't check but I believe the situation is the same at the Y-end.

3000 cts is ~1V into the ADC. I am going to change the supply voltage to this box (which also reads in ETMX OSEMS) to +/-15V so that we can use the full range of the ADC.

gautam Apr 26 630pm: I re-did the measurement by directly monitoring the REFLDC on a scope, and the situation is not much better. I calculate a MM of 70% into the arm. This is sensitive to the lens positions - while I was working on the EX fiber coupling, I had bumped the lens mounted on a translational stage on the EX table lightly, and I had to move that lens around today in order to recover the GTRX level of 0.5 that I am used to seeing (with arm aligned to maximize IR transmission). So there is definitely room for optimization here.


  13753   Fri Apr 13 17:56:26 2018 gautamUpdateALSFibers switched out

I swapped the EX fiber for the PSL fiber in the polarization monitoring setup. There is a lot more power in this fiber, and one of the PDs was saturated. I should really have put a PBS to cut the power, but I opted for putting an absorptive ND1.0 filter on the PD instead for this test. I want to monitor the stability in this beam and compare it to the EX beam's polarization wandering.

  13754   Sat Apr 14 14:42:09 2018 gautamUpdateALSFibers switched out

It looks like the drift in polarization content in the PSL pickoff is actually much higher than that in the EX pickoff. Note that to prevent the P-pol diode from saturating, I put an ND filter in front of the PD, so the Y axis actually has to be multiplied by 10 to compare power in S and P polarizations. If this drift is because of the input (linear) polarization being poorly matched to one of the fiber's special axes, then we can improve the situation relatively easily. But if the polarization drift is happening as a result of time-varying stress (due to temp. fluctuations, acoustics etc) on the (PM) fiber from the PSL fiber coupler to the BeatMouth, then I think this is a much more challenging problem to solve.

I'll attempt to quantify the contribution (in Hz/rtHz) of beat amplitude RIN to phase tracker output noise, which will tell us how much of a problem this really is and in which frequency bands. In particular, I'm interested in seeing if the excess noise around 100 Hz is because of beat amplitude fluctuations. But on the evidence thus far, I've seen the beat amplitude drift by ~15 dB (over long timescales) on the control room network analyzer, and this drift seems to be dominated by PSL light amplitude fluctuations.

Attachment 1: PSLdrift.png
  13757   Tue Apr 17 14:08:29 2018 gautamUpdateALSFibers switched out

A follow-up on the discussion from today's lunch meeting - Rana pointed out that rotation of the fiber in the mount by ~5degrees cannot account for such large power fluctuations. Here is a 3 day trend from my polarization monitoring setup. Assuming the output fiber coupler rotates in its mount by 5 degrees, and assuming the input light is aligned to one of the fiber's special axes, then we expect <1% fluctuation in the power. But the attached trend shows much more drastic variations, more like 25% in the p-polarization (which is what I assume we use for the beat, since the majority of light is in this polarization, both for PSL and EX). I want to say that the periodicity in the power fluctuations is ~12hours, and so this fluctuation is somehow being modulated by the lab temperature, but unfortunately, we don't have the PSL enclosure temperature logged in order to compare coherence.

Steve: your  plots look like temperature driven

The "beat length" of the fiber is quoted as <=2.7mm. This means that a linearly polarized beam that is not oriented along one of the special axes of the fiber will be rotated through 180 degrees over 2.7mm of propagation through the fiber. I can't find a number for the coefficient of thermal expansion of the fiber, but if temperature driven fluctuations are changing the length of the fiber by 300um, it would account for ~12% power fluctuation between the two polarizations in the monitoring setup, which is in the ballpark we are seeing...

Attachment 1: PSL_fluctuations.png
  13758   Wed Apr 18 10:44:45 2018 gautamUpdateCDSslow machine bootfest

All slow machines (except c1auxex) were dead today, so I had to key them all. While I was at it, I also decided to update MC autolocker screen. Kira pointed out that I needed to change the EPCIS input type (in the RTCDS model) to a "binary input", as opposed to an "analog input", which I did. Model recompilation and restart went smooth. I had to go into the epics record manually to change the two choices to "ENABLE" and "DISABLE" as opposed to the default "ON" and "OFF". Anyways, long story short, MC autolocker controls are a bit more intuitive now I think.

Attachment 1: MCautolocker_MEDM_revamp.png
  13762   Wed Apr 18 19:02:15 2018 gautamUpdateIOOMC spot centering scripts

I'm working on fixing these (and the associated MEDM scripts) up so that we can get some reliable readback on how well centered the spots are on the MC mirrors. Seems like a bunch of MEDM display paths were broken, and it looks like the optimal demod phases (to put most of the output in I quadrature) are not what the current iteration of the scripts set them to be. It may well be that the gains that convert demodulated counts to mm of spot offset are also not correct anymore. I ran the script ~4times in ~1 hour time span, and got wildly different answers for the spot centering each time, so I wouldn't trust any of those numbers atm...

As you can see in Attachment #1, I stepped the demod phase of one of the servos from -180 to 180 degrees in 5degree increments. The previously used value of 57degrees is actually close to the worst possible point (if you want the signal in the I quadrature, which is what the scripts assume).

I used Attachment #2 to change up the demod phases to maximize the I signal. I chose the demod phase such that it preserved the sign of the demodulated signal (relative to the old demod phases). I also made some StripTool templates for these, and they are in the MC directory. Doing the spot centering measurement with the updated demod phases yields the following output from the script:

spot positions in mm (MC1,2,3 pit MC1,2,3 yaw):
[0.72506586251144134, 7.1956908534034403, 0.54754354165324848, -0.94113388241389784, -3.5325883025464959, -2.4934027726657142]

Seems totally unbelievable still that we are so far off center on MC1 yaw. Perhaps the gains and calibration to convert from counts to mm of spot offset need to be rechecked.

Attachment 1: MCass_demodPhase.png
Attachment 2: MCass_demodPhases.png
  13765   Thu Apr 19 00:03:51 2018 gautamUpdateIOOMore IMC NBing


As shown in the Attachments, it seems like IMC DAC and coil driver noise is the dominant noise source above 30Hz. If we assume the region around the bounce peak is real motion of the stack (to be confirmed with accelerometer data soon), this NB is starting to add up. Much checking to be done, and I'd also like to get a cleaner measurement of coil driver and DAC noise for all 3 optics, as there seems to be a factor of ~5 disagreement between the MC3 coil driver noise measurement and my previous foray into this subject. The measurement needs to be refined a little, but I think the conclusion holds.


  1. I had a measurement of the MC3 coil driver noise from ~2weeks ago when I was last working on this that I had not yet added to the NB.
  2. Today I added it. To convert from measured voltage noise to frequency noise, I assumed the usual 0.016N/A per coil number, which is probably a large source of systematic error.
  3. I define the "nominal" IMC operating condition as MC1 and MC3 having the analog de-whitening filters switched on, but MC2 switched off.
  4. So length noise should be dominated by coil driver noise on MC1 and MC3, and DAC noise on MC2.
  5. The measurement I had was made with the input to the coil driver board terminated in 50ohms. Measurement was made in-situ. The measurement has a whole bunch of 60Hz harmonics (despite the Prologix box being powered by a linear power adapter, but perhaps there are other ground loops which are coupling into the measurement). So I'd like to get a cleaner measurement tmrw.
  6. To confirm, Koji suggested some On/Off test by driving some broadband noise in the coils. I figured toggling the analog de-whitening, such that the DAC noise or coil driver electronics dominate is an equally good test.
  7. Attachment #2 shows the effect in arm error and control signal spectra. Note that I engaged analog de-whitening on all 3 optics for the red curves in this plot. But even leaving MC2 de-whitening off, I could see the read curve was below the black reference trace, which was taken with de-whitening off on all 3 optics.


Since I sunk some time into it already, the motivation behind this work is just to try and make the IMC noise budget add up. It is not directly related to lowering the IR ALS noise, but if it is true that we are dominated by coil driver noise, we may want to consider modifying the MC coil driver electronics along with the ITM and ETMs.

Attachment 1: IMC_NB_20180409.pdf
Attachment 2: IMC_coils_20180418.pdf
  13766   Thu Apr 19 01:04:00 2018 gautamConfigurationGeneralAS port laser injection

For the arm cavity ringdowns, I guess we don't need AS55/AS110 (although I think the camera will still be useful for alignment). But for something like RC Gouy phase characterization, I'd imagine we need the AS detectors to lock various cavities. So I think we should go for a solution that doesn't disturb the AS PD beams. 

It's hard to tell from the plot in the manual (pg 52) what exactly the relaxation oscillation frequency is, but I think it's closer to 600 kHz (is this characteristic of NdYAG NPROs)??  Is the high RIN on the light straight out of the NPRO? 


We could use a simple mirror if we don't need AS110 and AS55, we could use a polarizing BS and work with s polarization, or we find a Faraday Isolator.

There is a strong oscillation around 210 kHz. The oscillation frequency decreases when the output power is turned down, the noise eater has no effect. 

  13767   Thu Apr 19 09:57:03 2018 gautamUpdateWikiAP and ETMX tables uploaded to wiki

The most up to date pictures of the AP table and ETMX table that Steve took have been uploaded to the relevant page on the wiki. It seems like the wiki doesn't display previews of jpg images - by using png, I was able to get the thumbnail of the attachment to show up. It would be nice to add beam paths to these two images. The older versions of these photos were moved to the archive section on the same page.

ELOG V3.1.3-