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ID Date Authorup Type Category Subject
  14899   Thu Sep 19 11:26:18 2019 gautamUpdateIOOTT cables DON'T need to be remade

False alarm - the mistake was mine. Looking at the schematic diagram, the AI/Dewhite board, D000316, accepts the inputs from the DAC on the P2 connector. While restoring the connections at 1Y2, I had plugged the outputs of the DAC interface board into the P1 connectors of the AI boards. Having rectified this problem, I am now able to move the beam on the AS camera in both PIT and YAW using TT1 or TT2. So to zero-th order, this subsystem appears to work. A more in-depth analysis of the angular stability of the TTs can only be done once we re-align the arms and lock some cavities.

  14901   Thu Sep 19 21:23:51 2019 gautamUpdateCDSFast BIO splicing re-implemented at 1Y2

[KA, GV]


  1. New cross connect system for splicing the fast BIO signals for whitening switching to the P2 connectors was installed and tested at 1Y2.
  2. It passed a first round of tests. 😁 
  3. As of now, I believe all the necessary electrical connections have been made at 1Y2/1Y3, and we are ready for testing the c1iscaux system.


  1. We did some testing in the office area, and found several wiring mistakes. These were all rectified. Attachment #1 is an accurate reflection of the implemented wiring scheme (softcopy in the 40m google sheets area). Be aware that the IDC 50 pin connector pin-out is tricky, and you have to be aware of the difference between male/female connector when looking for this pin-out on the internet.
  2. In order to facilitate further testing, we re-routed the ADC0 SCSI cable that was unplugged on the overhead cable tray, and plugged it back into the c1lsc expansion chassis. This action necessitated a reboot of the vertex FEs, but everything came back alright.
  3. Did some general neatenign and strain relieving. Removed a few existing cross-connects to make space for our new terminal blocks.
  4. Attachment #2 shows the layout of the terminal blocks. Note the unusual (vertical) order of the orange terminal blocks.
  5. The final integrated CDS test done was the following:
    • Set whitening gain for channel under test to 45dB, so that the dark noise level is boosted to a measurable level such that a change can be seen with the whitening enabled/disabled.
    • Compare the ASD of the signal between 30-100 Hz with the whitening engaged/disengaged.
    • Example result shown in Attachment #3.I believe the whitening is 15:150 (z:p) 


  1. Recover POX/POY locking,.
  2. ...

Update 2019 Sep 19 1730: The pin numbers of the IDC 50 connector are all off by 1. i.e. 3-->4 and so on. I will fix this shortly. The problem was because of me looking at the pinout for the wrong gender of IDC50 connectors.

Attachment 1: 1Y2_FAST_BIO_WIRING_MAP.pdf
Attachment 2: IMG_7949.JPG
Attachment 3: REFL165.pdf
  14902   Fri Sep 20 11:39:04 2019 gautamUpdateOptical LeversETMX Oplev HeNe Dead

While working on recovering interferometer alignment, I noticed that the ETMX Oplev SUM channel reported 0 counts. Attachment #1 shows the 200 day trend - despite the missing data, the accelerating downward decay is evident. I confirmed that there is no light coming out of the HeNe by walking down to EX. The label on the HeNe says it was installed in March 2017, so the lifetime was ~30 months. Seems a little short? I may replace this later today.

Attachment 1: ETMX_OLdead.png
  14903   Fri Sep 20 12:55:02 2019 gautamUpdateCDSc1iscaux testing

I was hoping that the dark / electronics noise level on the LSC photodiodes would be sufficient for me to test the whitening gain switching on the iLIGO Pentek whitening boards. However, this does not seem to be the case. I guess to be thorough, we have to do this kind of test. It's a bit annoying to have to undo and redo the SMA connections, but I can't think of any obvious easier way to test this functionality. More annoyingly, the sensing matrix infrastructure necessary to do the kind of test described in the linked elog is only available for some PDs. I don't really want to modify the c1cal model and go through another mass reboot cycle.

While I was at it, I was also thinking about the tests we want to do. Here is a quick first pass - if you can think of other tests we ought to do, please add them to the list!

  1. Whitening gain switching on the D990694 boards.
    • Need to inject some signal to do this in a clean way. 
    • With some signal injected, we need to switch the whitening gain through the 15 available levels and confirm that we see a +3dB gain for each step.
    • An example script to do this operation and make a diagnostic plot is at /cvs/cds/caltech/target/c1iscaux/testScripts/testWhtGain.py.
  2. AA enable/disable on the D000076 boards. Do we really need this functionality? Can't we permanently enable the AA, as was done for WF2?
    • Need to measure the TF with an SR785 or drive a high-freq line and confirm that the aliased peak height is attenuated as expected in DTT.
  3. LO Det Mon channel check
    • Zeroth level test can be done by turning Marconi OFF/ON, and confirming we see a change in the corresponding monitor channel, like I did here.
    • A more rigorous diagnostic would require these channels to be calibrated to dBm of LO power.
  4. PD INTF board check
    • Zeroth level check can be done by shining light onto PDs one at a time and confirming that the correct channel shows a response.
    • A more rigorous diagnostic would require these channels to be calibrated to mW of optical power incident on the PDs.
  5. QPD INTF board check
    • This is the IP-POS QPD readback.
    • Need to confirm the quadrant mapping, and that Pitch is really Pitch, Yaw is really Yaw.
    • A more rigorous diagnostic would require these channels to be calibrated to mm of position shift.
  6. CM Board
    • Need to determine what tests need to be done.
    • I have not yet implemented the fix for the MBBO gain channels for all the gains - only REFL1_GAIN is set up correctly now. Need to look at the hardware for the correct addressing of bits.
  7. ALS INTF board
    • This board isn't actually connected yet, pending strain relief of cabling at 1Y2.
    • The calibration of the board output volts to dBm is known, so we can easily check this functionality.
  14904   Fri Sep 20 18:28:34 2019 gautamUpdateLSCY arm locking attempt

I tried to lock the Y arm cavity length to the PSL frequency using POY11_I as an error signal. Even though I think the cavity alignment is good (I see TRY flashes ~0.8), I am unable to achieve a lock. I checked the signal conditioning, and as far as I can tell, all the settings are correct, but there may be some settings that have not been re-assigned correct values. The other possibility is that something is not quite right with the new c1iscaux. The PDH error signal and arm cavity flashes all seem good though (see Attachment #1), so I'm not sure what obvious thing I'm missing.

To be continued...

Attachment 1: POYlocking.png
  14909   Fri Sep 27 15:59:53 2019 gautamUpdateCDSc1iscaux testing

I reset the normalization for both arms on Jul 9 2019.


The transmission reached just 1.00 at the end. Was the transmission recently normalized? (See attachment 5)

  14910   Sun Sep 29 15:58:19 2019 gautamUpdateLSCPOX locking attempt


There is no visible PDH error signal on the POX11 channels. As a result, I am unable to lock the XARM length to the laser frequency. See Attachment #1 - the Y arm length is locked to the PSL frequency, and control is disabled for the XARM servo.


Now that several of the c1iscaux functionality tests have been completed, I wanted to push ahead with some locking. However, I was foiled at this early stage, for reasons as yet unknown. One possibility is that the

  • I am able to see TRX cavity flashes >0.8, which suggest to me that the cavity is well aligned.
  • Moreover, I am able to lock some (admittedly high TEM order) mode of the green laser, which further supports the above hypothesis.
  • However, there are no visible PDH-like features in the POX11_I or POX11_Q channels.
  • I checked that the cables from the output of the POX11 demod board are in fact going to the correct channels on WF1 (#5 and #6 respectively), and that the whitening gain for this channel is set to the nominal +30 dB.
  • Next, I went to the POX table and looked for the POX IR beam. I couldn't see anything, but this beam is expected to be weak (of the order of 1 W * T_PRM * R_AR_ITM ~ 30 uW), which is probably not so easily visible.

Next steps:

  • Look for the POX beam with an IR viewer.
  • Confirm that everything is order on the LSC Demod board for POX 11 - maybe the LO isn't connected (somehow)?
Attachment 1: POXlockAttempt.png
  14911   Sun Sep 29 16:08:25 2019 gautamUpdateOptical LeversETMX Oplev HeNe replaced

To facilitate POX locking investigations, I replaced this HeNe today with one of the spares Chub/Steve had acquired some time ago. Details:

  • Part number: Lumentum 22037130 (1103P)
  • Serial number: PA00836
  • Manufacture date: 01/2019
  • Power output: ~2.64 mW (Measured with Ophir power meter in the 632nm setting)
  • Power received on QPD: ~0.37 mW = ~18700 cts (Measured with Ophir power meter in the 632nm setting)

The RIN of the sum channel with the Oplev servo engaged, along with that for the other core FPMI optics, in shown in Attachment #1. The ETMX HeNe RIN is compatible with the other HeNes in the lab (the high-frequency behaviour of the BS Oplev is different from the other four because the QPD whitening electronics are different).

Not sure what to make of the ETMY RIN profile being so different from the others, seems like some kind of glitchy behaviour, I could see the mean level of the ASD moving up and down as I was taking the averages in DTT. Needs further investigation.

The old / broken HeNe is placed i(nside the packaging of the abovementioned replacement HeNe) on Steve's old desk for disposal in the proper way.

*It looked like Steve had hooked up a thermocouple to be able to monitor the temperature of the HeNe head. I removed this feature as I figured if we don't have this hooked up to the DAQ, it isn't a really useful diagnostic. If we want, we can restore this in a more useful way.


While working on recovering interferometer alignment, I noticed that the ETMX Oplev SUM channel reported 0 counts. Attachment #1 shows the 200 day trend - despite the missing data, the accelerating downward decay is evident. I confirmed that there is no light coming out of the HeNe by walking down to EX. The label on the HeNe says it was installed in March 2017, so the lifetime was ~30 months. Seems a little short? I may replace this later today.

Attachment 1: OLRIN_20190929.pdf
  14912   Mon Sep 30 11:20:43 2019 gautamUpdateCDSc1iscaux testing - CM board code updated

DATED, SEE ELOG14941 for the most up-to-date info on latch.py.

I modified /cvs/cds/caltech/target/c1iscaux/latch.py and /cvs/cds/caltech/target/c1iscaux/C1_ISC-AUX_CM.db to set up the mbbo logic for the other three channels on the CM board, namely REFL2 Gain, AO Gain, and the Super boosts. The systemctl processes were restarted on c1iscaux. We are now ready to perform systematic checks on the CM board functionality.


The addressing of the Acromag BIO registers is done in a way that is kind of inconvenient to use the EPICS mbboDirect protocol

  • The control word going to the Acromag is 16 bits in length
  • However, only the 4 least significant bits actually correspond to physical channels - the remaining 12 bits are "unused".
  • Because each Acromag BIO unit has 16 BIO channels, this means that they are grouped into four "banks" of 4 bits each.
  • The mbboDirect EPICS/modbus protocol is used to control multiple physical BIO channels using a single input, which is exactly what we want for the gain sliders on the CM board. However, one caveat is that the bits need to be consecutive.
  • This means that we have to break up the 6 bits used for the gain sliders (and in fact also the 2 bits used for the super boosts) into a least-significant-bits (LSB) group and a most-significant-bits (MSB) group.
  • What's more annoying is that our physical wiring scheme means that we can't uniformly decide on how this division into LSBs and MSBs work for all the channels - e.g. for REFL1 Gain, the LSB is the 4 least significant bits, while the MSB is the 2 most significant ones, while for REFL2 Gain, the roles are reversed.
  • In hindsight, the "clever" way to do the wiring assignment would have been to factor this in - but the problem is (sort of) easily fixed in software, and so I recommend we stick with the existing wiring scheme.

I tested the new latch.py script by toggling the various sliders (one at a time) between two values and monitoring the states of the various soft and "*_BITS" channels, see Attachment #1. The behavior seems consistent to me, but to be sure, we have to use Koji's LED tester board and confirm that the physical bits are being toggled correctly. The StripTool templates live in /cvs/cds/caltech/target/c1iscaux/CMdiag.


I have not yet implemented the fix for the MBBO gain channels for all the gains - only REFL1_GAIN is set up correctly now. Need to look at the hardware for the correct addressing of bits

Attachment 1: CMsoftTest.png
  14915   Mon Sep 30 14:16:43 2019 gautamUpdateLSCPOX PD checkout - solved

I confirmed that there is light incident on the POX photodiode. So the problem must lie downstream in the demod / whitening / AA electronics. With the PRM aligned (i.e. PRFPMI config with all DoFs uncontrolled), I could see the flashing beam on an IR card. I could also see the spikes in DC power incident on the photodiode using the "DC Monitor" port on the photodiode head and an oscilloscope.

Update 245 pm: I confirmed that I could see a 11 MHz sine wave by connecting the POX11 RFPD output cable at the 1Y2 end to an oscilloscope. The amplitude of this signal was also changing, corresponding to the cavity fringing in and out of resonance. I couldn't, however, see any signal on the RFPDmon port, or the I/Q demodulated output ports. So as of now, the culprit seems to be something on the Demod board. Further investigations underway...

Update 315pm: I did the following checks:

  1. Checked the LO signal level into a 50ohm input scope - it was ~720 mVpp, which was compatible with the LO level into the POY Demod board, so the LO signal level couldn't be to blame.
  2. Connected an RF funcgen to the PD input of the demod board. Drove it at 11.066210 MHz, 50 mVpp, and saw a signal 400 cts-pp in the CDS system - so the demod + digitizaiton electronics also seemed fine.
  3. #2, coupled with the fact I could see no signal at the RF-mon port of the demod board (even though there was a signal visible at the cable coming to 1Y2) suggested that the cable routing the POX11 PD output from the Heliax-breakout in 1Y2 to the demod board was busted - indeed this was the case!
  4. Koji replaced the cable without changing its length, and now the XARM locks readily 👏 . I ran ASS and got TRX ~ 0.95. See Attachment #1

Look for the POX beam with an IR viewer.

  14916   Mon Sep 30 15:51:59 2019 gautamUpdateCDSc1iscaux - some admin

I did the following:

  1. symlinked /cvs/cds/rtcds to /opt/rtcds.
  2. Added a line to /etc/systemd/system/modbusIOC.service that executes a burt-restore of the latest c1iscaux.snap file so that whitening gains etc are restored to their last saved value in the event of a service restart.
  14917   Mon Sep 30 17:04:30 2019 gautamUpdateCDSSome path changes

I made some model changes to c1lsc. To propagate the changes, I tried the usual rtcds make sequence. But I got an error about the model file not being in the path. This is down to my re-organization of the paths to cleanly get everything under git version control. So I had to run the following path modification. Where is this variable set and how can I add the new paths to it? The model compilation, installation and restart all went smooth after I made this change. 

For smooth reboot of the models, I used the reboot script. I had to restart the daqd processes on FB, but now all the CDS indicator lights are green.

export RCG_LIB_PATH=/opt/rtcds/userapps/release/isc/c1/models/isc/:/opt/rtcds/userapps/release/isc/c1/models/cds/:/opt/rtcds/userapps/release/isc/c1/models/sus/:$RCG_LIB_PATH

I commenced the procedure of the migration, starting with making a tagged commit of the current running simulink models. A local backup was also made, plus we have the usual chiara-based backup so I think we're in good hands.

  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).
Attachment 1: ALS_OOL_20190930.pdf
  14919   Tue Oct 1 18:35:12 2019 gautamUpdateGeneralBeam centering campaign
  1. With TRX and TRY maximized using ASS, I centered the Oplev spots on the respective QPDs for the four test masses and the BS. I also centered the spot onto the IPPOS QPD by moving the available steering mirror.
  2. At EX, I tweaked the input pointing of the green beam into the arm by manually twiddling with the PZT mirrors. I was able to get GTRX~0.4.
  3. On the AS table - Koji and I found that there was a steering mirror placed in the AS beam path such that there was no light reaching the AS110 or AS55 PDs. Please - when you are done with your measurement, return the optical configuration to the state it was in before so that the usual locking activity isn't disturbed by a needless few hours troubleshooting electronics.

Once Koji is done with his checkout of the whitening electronics, I will try and lock the PRMI.

  14920   Tue Oct 1 21:19:51 2019 gautamUpdateLSCPRMI locked on carrier


The PRMI was locked with the carrier field resonant in the PRC 🙌. The lock is pretty stable (I only let it stay locked for ~10mins and then deliberately unlocked to see if I could readily re-lock, but it has stayed locked for the last ~20mins while I typed this up). See Attachment #1 for the DC power monitor StripTool for a short section of lock.


  • This is the opposite of the config we'd want usually for locking the IFO, but it is a useful configuration for setting the alignment of the vertex optics, and also to train angular feedforward filters, so I decided to try it out.
  • Some patient alignment work was required. I started with the single arm locks, maximized TRX/TRY with ASS, and then misaligned the ETMs and brought the PRM into alignment.
  • The PRM Oplev spot was roughly centerd on its QPD once I judged I was getting decent PRMI cavity flashes on the POP camera. The PRMI Oplev servo needs some tuning, it is currently susceptible to oscillations in Pitch.
  • The error signals used were: REFL11_I ---> PRCL and AS55_Q ---> MICH.
  • The whitening gains were: REFL11 --> +18 dB, AS55 ---> +6 dB.
  • Triggering was done using POPDC, this worked better for me than any of the RF signals (e.g. POP22/POP110). Trigger ON --> 200cts, Trigger OFF --> 100 cts.
  • The DCPD whitening gains may not be set correctly - I think I remember POPDC being ~4000 cts in this configuration, but it may also be that we are not well centered on the POP photodiode.
  • The dominant cause of the POP circulating power seems to be the usual angular instability ascribed to the TTs. The OAF model wasn't running tonight (and I didn't want to try starting it and have to do a full vertex FE reboot tonight) so I didn't get a chance to engage the angular FF.

Next (for LSC activities):

  • PRMI locking with the sidebands resonant in the PRC.
  • DRMI locking

I'm leaving the LSC mode off for tonight, but with the PRMI optics aligned and ETMs misaligned.

Attachment 1: PRMIlocked.png
  14922   Wed Oct 2 10:40:07 2019 gautamUpdateCDSc1oaf model restarted

This morning, I restarted the c1oaf model on the c1lsc machine, so as to have the option of enabling some feedforward action. Unsurprisingly, the "DC" indicator is red, citing a "0x2bad". In the past, I've been able to correct this by simply restarting the model. But given the fragility of the c1lsc machine, I think I'll live with not having the OAF model signals in frames. Medium-term, I'd like to pare down the c1oaf model a bit - I think it has way too many options/matrices right now, and is an un-necessarily bloated and heavy model. Unless there are serious objections, I will do this work when I next feel like it.

Attachment 1: c1oafRestart.png
  14923   Wed Oct 2 10:50:20 2019 gautamUpdateCDSAnaconda updated

The anaconda distribution used by the control room workstations is actually installed on the shared drive (/cvs/cds/ligo/apps/anaconda/) for consistency reasons. The version was 4.5.11. I ran the following commands to update it today. Now it is version 4.7.12.

conda update conda
conda update anaconda

The second command takes a while to resolve conflicts, so I've left it running inside a tmux session for now.

Recall that the bash alias for using the anaconda managed python is "apython". I recommend everyone set up a virtual environment when trying out new package installs, to avoid destroying the locking scripts.

  14924   Wed Oct 2 11:52:16 2019 gautamUpdateLSCPRMI Oplev loop checkout

I measured the OLTF of both the PRM Oplev loops. Nothing odd sticks out as odd to me in this measurement - there seems to be ~40 degrees of phase margin and >10 dB gain margin for both loops, see Attachment #1. I didn't measure down to the second UGF at ~0.2 Hz (the Oplev loops are AC coupled), so there could be something funky going on there. The problem still persists - if I misalign and realign the PRM using the ifoalign scripts, the automatic engagement of Oplev loops causes the loop to oscillate. Could be that the script doesn't wait for long enough for the alignment transient to die out.

Update 1230pm: Indeed, this was due to the integrator transient. It dies away after a couple of seconds.


The PRMI Oplev servo needs some tuning, it is currently susceptible to oscillations in Pitch.

Attachment 1: PRM_OLTF.pdf
  14926   Wed Oct 2 23:15:02 2019 gautamUpdateLSCFPMI locking


I was able to lock the FPMI. The lock was quite stable. However, the fluctuations in the ASDC power suggest that it will be difficult to make a DC measurement of the contrast defect in this configuration. This problem can be circumvented in part by some electronics tuning. However, the alignment jitter couples some HOM light which is an independent effect. Can this be a good testbed for the proposed AS WFS system? 


  • First, the arm cavities were locked and TRX/TRY were maximized using ASS.
  • Next, AS55_Q-->MICH_A (MICH-->BS) matrix element was set to 1 in the LSC input (output) matrix. The trigger was set to always on.
  • AS55 digital demod phase was -37 degrees.
  • I was then able to increase the gain on the MICH servo and turn on some integrators without any problem.
  • Some guesswork had to be done to get the correct sign. Final servo gain used was -0.8. 

I didn't do any serious budgeting yet - need to think about / do some modeling on how this configuration can be made useful.

Attachment 1: FPMIlocked.png
  14927   Wed Oct 2 23:23:02 2019 gautamUpdateCDSc1oaf DC indicator needs to be green

Today, I found out that this type of "0x2bad" DC error is connected to the 1e+20 cts output. The solution was to bite the bullet and stop/start the c1oaf model (at the risk of crashing the vertex FEs). Today, I was lucky and the model came back online with all CDS indicators green. At which point I was able to engage length feedforward to MC2 (with some admittedly old filter). Some subtraction is happening, see Attachment #1. This was just meant to test whether the signal routing is happening - the feedforward signal goes to the "ALTPOS" input of the suspension CDS block, which AFAIK does not have a corresponding MEDM EPICS indicator. So I couldn't figure out whether the feedforward control signal was in fact making it to the suspension. On the evidence of the suppression of MCL in the 1-3 Hz band, I would conclude that it is. Useful to be able to engage these FF filters for better lockability.


Attachment #1 - the vertex seismometer input produces 1e+20 cts at the output of the feedforward filter. Attachment #2 shows the shape of the feedforward filters - doesn't explain the saturation. Since this is a feedforward loop, a runaway loop can't be the explanation either.

Attachment 1: MCL_FF_Test.pdf
  14930   Thu Oct 3 12:08:47 2019 gautamUpdateGeneralMake the Jenne-laser setup fiber-coupled

I propose the following re-organization of the PDFR measurement breadboard. We have all the parts on hand, just needs ~30mins of setup work and some characterization afterwards. The fiber beamsplitter will not be PM, but for this measurement, I don't think that matters (the patch fiber from the diode laser head isn't PM anyways). We have one spare 1 GHz BW NF1611 that is fiber coupled (used to live on the ITMY in-air table, and is (conveniently) labelled "REF DET", but I'm not sure what the function of this was). In any case, we have at least 1 free-space NF1611 photodiode available as well. I suggest confirming that the FC version works as expected by calibrating against the free space PD first.

Update 245pm: Implemented, see Attachment #2. Aaron is testing it now, and will post the characterization results.

Attachment 1: PDFR_tabletop.pdf
Attachment 2: IMG_8014.JPG
  14933   Thu Oct 3 19:40:18 2019 gautamUpdateLSCPOX/POY imbalance


There is an imbalance between the POX and POY detector outputs reported in the CDS system. Possibilities are (i) the POX PD has a uncoated glass window whereas POY does not or (ii) there is some problem in the elctronics.


  1. Nominally, we run the POX/POY locking with +18dB whitening gain on POY and +30 dB on POX. This is a factor of 4 difference.
  2. The DC levels reported in C1:LSC-POXDC_OUT and C1:LSC-POYDC_OUT differ by a factor of 10 (24 cts for POY vs 2.4 cts for POX with 0dB whitening gain). These channels come from the P2 connector on the back of the PD Interface board into the fast CDS system.
  3. The levels reported by the Acromag system (which come out of the P1 connector) are 60mV for POY  vs 15 mV for POX.
  4. I confirmed that this imbalance is not due to clipping on the POX photodiode - I tweaked the steering mirror and observed the plateau (I did not, however, look at the beam on the PD active area with an IR viewew which would be a more conclusive test).
  5. I measured the power incident on either PD (using Ophir power meter, filter OFF). They were both ~10uW, as expected since the beam extraction for POY and POX are identical - a single HR mirror and the vacuum viewport.

Update 820pm: 

  1. I checked that there is no glass window on the PD.
  2. It is hard to see the beam on a viewer - but with the PRM aligned, I think I convinced myself that the beam is pretty well centered on the PD. 

So increasingly, it looks like the electronics are the source of the problem.

  14937   Fri Oct 4 00:30:31 2019 gautamUpdateGeneralMake the Jenne-laser setup fiber-coupled

I think the metric of interest here is the consistency of the AC transimpedance of the proposed new "Reference PD" (= fiber coupled NF1611) vs the old reference (free space NF1611), since everything will be calibrated against that.


Something still looks very wrong -- the PD is supposed to be flat out to 1GHz, and physical units pending, need food.

  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...

Attachment 1: ALS_singleArm.png
Attachment 2: ALS_OOL_20191003.pdf
  14941   Fri Oct 4 22:22:03 2019 gautamUpdateCDSFinal incarnation of latch.py

[KA, GV]

This elog is meant to be a summary of some of the many subtleties on the CM board. The latest schematic of the version used at the 40m can be found at D1500308 .

Latch logic:

  • There are several Binary Outputs and one Binary Input to the CM board.
  • The outputs control ENABLE/DISABLE switches and gains of amplifier stages, while the input reports whenever the limiter has been reached.
  • The variable gain feature is implemented by enabling/bypassing several cascaded fixed gain stages. So in order to change the gain of a single composite amplifier stage, multiple individual amplifier stages have to be switched.
  • This is implemented by the user interacting with the hardware via a "control word", consisting of a number of bits depending on the number of cascaded stages that have to be switched. 
  • This control word is sent to the device via modbus EPICS, which is an asynchronous communication protocol. Hence, it may be that the individual bits composing the control word get switched asynchronously. This would be disastrous, as there can be transient glitches in the gain of the stage being controlled. 
  • To protect against such problems, there is a latch IC in the hardware between the Binary Inputs to the board (= Binary Outputs from Acromags), and the actual switches (= MAX333) that enable/bypass the cascaded gain stages. The latch IC used is a SN74ALS573. This device acts as a bus, which transmits/blocks changes for multiple bits (= our control word) from propagating, depending on the state of a single bit (= the LATCH ENABLE bit). Thus, by controlling a single bit, we can guarantee that multiple bits get switched synchronously
  • In order to use this latch capability, we need some software logic that sets/disables the LATCH ENABLE bit. For our system, this logic is implemented in the form of a continuously running python 🐍 script, located at /cvs/cds/caltech/target/c1iscaux/latch.py. It is implemented as a systemctl service on the c1iscaux Supermicro. The logic implemented in this script is shown in Attachment #1. While the channels referred to in that attachment are for REFL1_GAIN, the same logic is implemented for REFL2_GAIN, AO_GAIN, and the SuperBoosts.
  • Some FAQ:
    1. Q: Why do we need the soft channels C1:LSC-REFL1_SET_LSB and C1:LSC-REFL1_SET_MSB?
      A: These soft channels are what is physically linked to the Acromag Binary Outputs. In order for our latch logic to be effective, we need to detect when the user asks for a change, and then disable the LATCH ENABLE bit (which is on by default, see FAQ #3) before changing the physical acromag channels. The soft channels form the protective layer between the user and the hardware, allowing latch.py to function.
    2. Q: Why is there an "_MSB" and "_LSB" soft channel? 
      A: This has to do with the mbboDirect EPICS channel type, which is used to control the multiple bits in our control word using a single input (= an MEDM gain slider). The mbboDirect data-type requires the bits it controls to have consecutive hardware addresses. However, the Acromag hardware addressing scheme is not always compatible with this requirement (see pg 33 of the manual for why this is the case). Hence, we have to artifically break up the control word into two separate control words compatible with the Acromag addressing scheme. This functionality is implemented in latch.py.
    3. Q: Why is the default state of LATCH ENABLE set to ON? 
      A: This has to do with the fact that all Binary Inputs, not just the multi-bit ones, to the CM board are propagated to the control hardware via a latch IC. For the single-bit channels, there is no requirement that the switching be synchronous. Hence, rather than setting up ~10 more single-bit soft channels and detecting changes before propagating them, we decided to leave the LATCH ENABLE ON by default, and only disable it when changing the multi-bit gain channels. This is the same way the logic was implemented in the VME state code, and we think that there are no logic reasons why it would fail. But if someone comes up with something, we can change the logic.

Acromag BIO testing:

During my bench testing of the Acromag chassis, I had not yet figured out mbboDirect and the latch logic, so I did not fully verify the channel mapping (= wiring inside the Acromag box), and whether the sitching behavior was consistent with what we expect. Koji and I verified (using the LED tester breakout board) that all the channels have the expected behavior 👏. Note that this is only a certification at the front-panel DB37 connectors of the Acromag chassis  testing of the integrated electronics chain including the CM board is in progress...

Attachment 1: LatchLogic.pdf
  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...
Attachment 1: ALSY_alignment.png
Attachment 2: ALSY_OOL.pdf
  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.

Attachment 1: ALSY_20191006.pdf
Attachment 2: transitionIRALS.png
Attachment 3: arms_ALS.pdf
  14946   Mon Oct 7 19:50:33 2019 gautamUpdateIOOIMC locking not working after this work

See trend. This is NOT symptomatic of some frozen slow machine - if I disable the WFS servo inputs, the lock holds just fine.

Turns out that the beam was almost completely missing the WFS2 QPD. WTF 😤. I re-aligned the beam using the steering mirror immediately before the WFS2 QPD, and re-set the dark offsets for good measure. Now the IMC remains stably locked. 

Please - after you work on the interferometer, return it to the state it was in. Locking is hard enough without me having to hunt down randomly misaligned/blocked beams or unplugged cables.

I took this opportunity to do some WFS offset updates.

  • First I let the WFS servo settle to some operating point, and then offloaded the DC offsets to the IMC suspensions.
  • Then I disabled the WFS servo.
  • I hand-tweaked MC1 and MC3 PIT/YAW (while leaving MC2 untouched) to minimize IMC REFL (a more sensitive indicator of the optimal cavity alignment than the transmission).
  • Once I felt the IMC REFL was minimized (~1-2% improvement), I set the RF offsets for the WFS while the IMC remained locked. I chose this way of setting the RF offsets as opposed to unlocking the cavity and having the high-power TEM00 mode incident on the WFS QPDs.
  • Overnight, I'm going to run the MC2 spot position scanning code (in a tmux session on pianosa, started ~945pm) to see if we can find a place where the transmission is higher, looking at Kruthi's code now to see it makes sense...
  • The convergence time of the MC2 spot position loop is pretty slow, so the scan is expected to take a while... Should be done by tomorrow morning though, and I expect no work with the IFO tonight.
  • Does this loop have to be so slow? Why can't the gain be higher?
Attachment 1: IMCflaky.png
Attachment 2: IMG_8015.JPG
  14949   Tue Oct 8 08:08:18 2019 gautamUpdatePEMPEM BLRMS anomaly

Yesterday, Koji and I noticed (from the wall StripTool traces) that the vertex seismometer RMS between 0.1-0.3 Hz in the X-direction increased abruptly around 6pm PDT. This morning, when I came in, I noticed that the level had settled back to the normal level. Trending the BLRMS channels over the last 24 hours, I  see that the 0.3-1 Hz band in the Z direction shows some anomalous behaviour almost in the exact same time-band. Hard to believe that any physical noise was so well aligned to the seismometer axes, I'm inclined to think this is indicative of some electronics issues with the Trillium interface unit, which has been known to be flaky in the past.

Attachment 1: PEManomaly.png
  14950   Tue Oct 8 10:29:19 2019 gautamUpdateIOOMC Transmission scan


There is ~ 7% variation in the power seen by the MC2 trans QPD, depending on the WFS offsets applied to the MC2 PIT/YAW loops. Some more interpretation is required however, before attributing this to spot-position-dependent loss variation inside the IMC cavity.


Attachment #1This shows a scatter plot of the MC2 transmission and IMC REFL average values after the WFS loops have converged to the set offset positions. The size of the points are proportional to the normalized variance of the quantity. The purpose of this plot is to show that there is significant variation of the transmission, much more than the variance of an individual datapoint during the course of the averaging (again, the size of the circles is only meant to be indicative, the actual variance in counts is much smaller and wouldn't be visible on this plot scale). For a critically coupled cavity, I would have expected that the TRANS/REFL to be perfectly anti-correlated, but in fact, they are, if anything, correleated. So maybe the WFS loops aren't exactly converging to optimize the inoput pointing for a given offset? 

Attachment #2Maps of the transmission/reflection as a function of the (YAW, PIT) offset applied. The radial coordinate does not yet mean anything physical - I have to figure out the calibration from offset counts to spot position motion on the optic in mm, to get an idea for how much we scanned the surface of the optic relative to the beam size. The gray circles indicate the datapoints, while the colormaps are scipy-based interpolation. 

Attachment #3After talking with Koji, I explicitly show the correlation structure between the IMC REFL DCMON and MC2 TRANS. The shaded ellipses indicate the 1, 2 and 3-sigma bounds for the 2D dataset going radially outwards. The correlation coefficient for this dataset is 0.46, which implies moderate positive correlation. 🤔 

Scan algorithm:

The following was implemented in a python scipt:

  1. Choose 2 independent random numbers from the uniform distribution in the interval [-0.5, 0.5] (in uncalibrated counts).
  2. One of these numebrs is set as the error point offset for the QPD spot-centering PITCH WFS loop, while the other is the YAW offset.
  3. Wait for 600 seconds - this long wait is required because the step-response time for these loops is long. 
  4. If there is an MC unlock event - wait till the MC relocks, and then another 600 seconds, to give the WFS loops sufficient time to converge.
  5. Once the WFS loops have converged, average a few data channels (MC TRANS, REFL, WFS loop error points etc) for 10 seconds, and write these to a file.

I am now setting the offsets to the WFS QPD loop to the place where there was maximum transmission, to see if this is repeatable. In fact it was. Looking at the QPD segment outputs, I noticed that the MC2 transmission spot was rather off-center on the photodiode. So I went to the MC2 in-air optical table and centered the beam till the output on the 4 segments were more balanced, see Attachment #4. Then I re-set the MC2 QPD offsets and re-enabled the WFS servos. The transmission is now a little lower at ~14,500 counts (but still higher than the ~14200 counts we had before), presumably because we have more of the brightest part of the beam falling on the gap between quadrants. For a more reliable measurement, we should use a single-element photodiode for the MC2 transmission.

  • Overnight, I'm going to run the MC2 spot position scanning code (in a tmux session on pianosa, started ~945pm) to see if we can find a place where the transmission is higher,
Attachment 1: MC2_transmission_scatter.pdf
Attachment 2: transmissionMaps.pdf
Attachment 3: correlStructure.pdf
  14954   Tue Oct 8 18:35:09 2019 gautamUpdateLSCLocking prep

In preparation for some locking work tonight, I did the following at the POP in air table with the PRMI locked on carrier:

  1. Raised the POP camera by ~5mm. The POP spot is now well centered on the CCD view.
  2. Tweaked alignment onto the PDA10CF photodiode that serves as (i) POP22, (ii) POP110, and (iii) POP DC. In lock the POPDC level went from ~800 cts to ~1200 cts.
  3. Moved the QPD that witnesses part of the POP beam such that the spot was centered on the photodiode. This may be useful for collecting some FF data or if we want to try feedback to stabilize the PRMI.


  14956   Tue Oct 8 20:23:03 2019 gautamUpdateCDSc1iscaux testing

Looking at the old latch.st code, looks like this is just a heartbeat signal to indicate the code is alive. I'll implement this. Aesthetically, it'd be also nice to have the hex representation of the "*_SET" channels visible on the MEDM screen.



Latch logic works. But latch alive signal is missing.

  14960   Wed Oct 9 18:15:26 2019 gautamUpdateLSCPRMI 3f locking

After making sure the beams were hitting the 3f photodiodes on the "AP" table, I was able to lock the PRMI with the sidebands resonant inside the RC using 3f error signals. This would be the config we run in when trying to lock some more complicated configuration, such as the PRFPMI (i.e. start with the arms controlled by ALS, held off resonance). Tonight, I will try this (even though obviously I am not ready for the CARM transition step). The 3f lock is pretty robust, I was able to stay locked for minutes at a time and re-acquisition was also pretty quick. See Attachment #1. Not sure how significant it is, but I set the offsets to the 3f paths by averaging the REFL33_I and REFL33_Q signals when the PRMI was locked with the 1f error signals.

As usual, there's a lot of angular motion of the POP spot on the CCD monitor, but the lock seems to be able to ride it out.

Lock-settings (I modified the .snap file accordingly):

REFL33_I --> PRCL, loop gain = -0.019, Trigger on POP22, ON @ 20cts, OFF@0.5cts.

REFL33_Q --> MICH, loop gain = +1.4, Trigger on POP22, ON @ 20cts, OFF@0.5 cts.

Attachment 1: PRMI_1f.png
  14961   Wed Oct 9 22:02:58 2019 gautamUpdateLSCREFL55 whitening issue

This problem has re-surfaced. Is this indicative of some problem with the on-board VGA? Even with 0dB of whitening gain, I see PDH horns that are 10,000 ADC counts in amplitude, whereas the nominal whitening gain for this channel is +18dB. I'll look at it in the daytime, not planning to use REFL55 for any locking tonight.

  14962   Thu Oct 10 01:12:56 2019 gautamUpdateLSCLocking studies


  1. ALS control of arms in the CARM/DARM basis seems pretty robust - I was able to hold lock for >40mins tonight. The scripted transition from POX/POY control to ALS control is pretty deterministic now.
  2. The PRMI could be locked with the arms detuned from resonance by applying an offset to the CARM loop error point.
  3. Much daytime work remains to be done before attempting any sort of reliable locking.

Hardware issues that need addressing:

  1. Both EX and EY Trans QPDs need a look. I believe the one at EY is simply blocked (on account of the mode spectroscopy project), while the one at EX shows a weird discontinuity between the Thorlabs PD and the QPD. Could be just a gain/normalization issue I guess. See Attachment #1.
  2. While the PRMI stayed locked, I don't think I was using anywhere close to optimal settings. Need to run some sensing lines, measure transfer functions etc, to make the PRMI + arms lock more robust. The PRMI always lost lock when I brought the CARM offset to 0. Could also benefit from some finesse modeling I guess. I could not get a reliable estimate of what the PRG is tonight, because the PRMI didn't stay locked as I approached 0 CARM offset.
  3. REFL 55 whitening board needs a checkup.
Attachment 1: PRFPMIstudies.png
  14963   Thu Oct 10 22:11:53 2019 gautamUpdateLSCTrans QPD checkout
  1. I removed the flip-mount that was installed on the EY in-air table for the mode-spectroscopy project (see Attachment #1). The Transmon QPD at EY sees IR light again.
  2. Dark noise checkout - see Attachment #2.
  3. Light-level expectations:
    • For the current config, let's say 0.8 W reaches the PRM, and we will have a PRG of 50. 
    • This implies ~5.5 kW circulating power in the arms.
    • This implies ~70mW will get transmitted through the ETM, of which at most half makes it to the QPD. 
    • In the nominal operating condition, we expect more like 6 W circulating in the arm cavity. So something like 30uW is expected to make it out onto the Trans QPDs.
    • But in this condition, we expect to run with the high-gain Thorlabs PD.
    • In reality the number is likely to be somewhat smaller. But we should set the transimpedance gain of this photodiode accordingly. Currently, there are a bunch of ND filters installed on this photodiode, which probably should be removed.
  4. Angular control
    • The other purpose these QPDs are expected to serve is to stabilize the angular motion of the cavities when locked with high circulating power.
    • Need to calculate what the sensing noise requirement is.
Attachment 1: EY_table_20191010.jpeg
Attachment 2: darkNoise.pdf
  14969   Mon Oct 14 17:24:28 2019 gautamUpdateGeneralWorkstation computers taken off UPS (temporarily)

The UPS is now incessantly beeping. I cannot handle this constant sound so I shut down all the control room workstations and moved the power strip hosting the 4 CPUs to a wall socket for tonight. Chub and I will replace the UPS batteries tomorrow.

  14972   Tue Oct 15 17:22:26 2019 gautamUpdateGeneralWorkstation computers back on UPS

Batteries + power cables replaced, and computers back on UPS from today ~3pm.


The UPS is now incessantly beeping. I cannot handle this constant sound so I shut down all the control room workstations and moved the power strip hosting the 4 CPUs to a wall socket for tonight. Chub and I will replace the UPS batteries tomorrow.

  14973   Wed Oct 16 11:42:17 2019 gautamUpdateLSCPoor separation of PRCL/MICH in 3f signals


There is poor separation of the PRCL and MICH length error signals as sensed in the 3f photodiodes. I don't know why this is so - one possibility is that the MICH-->PRM matrix element in the LSC output matrix needs to be tuned to minimize the MICH -->PRCL coupling.


Over the last few days, I've been trying to make the 3f locking of the PRMI more reliable. Turns out that while I was able to lock the PRMI on 3f error signals, it was just a fluke. So I set about trying to be more systematic. Here are the steps I followed:

  1. Lock the PRMI (i.e. ETMs misaligned) using REFL11 for PRCL, AS55 for MICH.
    • This is the so-called 1f scheme.
    • The servo signs are chosen such that the carrier field is resonant in the PRC.
    • Run the dither alignment to maximize POPDC, minimize ASDC. This is the main purpose of locking in this config.
    • Measure some loop TFs, make sure the servo gains are giving us ~100 Hz UGF on these loops.
  2. Change the sign of the servo loops to make the sidebands resonant in the PRC.
    • The error signals are still sourced from the 1f photodiodes.
    • Measure loop TFs, and also the TF between the 1f and 3f error signals. 
    • This allowed me to determine how the servo gains (and signs) that would be appropriate when using the 3f signals in place of the 1f.
    • Determine the offsets in the 3f error signals when the PRMI is locked on 1f error signals. This allows me to set the error point offsets for the PRCL_B and MICH_B paths, which are what is used for the 3f locking.
  3. Change the error signals from 1f to 3f. 
    • After much trial and error, I finally managed to get a stable (>10 mins) lock going.
    • Measured some loop TFs.
    • Turned on the notch filters in the control filter bank at the sensMat oscillator frequencies, and ran some sensing lines.

Attachment #1 is the result. I don't know what is the reason for such poor separation of the MICH and PRCL error signals in REFL165. The situation seems very different from when I had the DRMI locked in Nov last year.

After this exercise, I tried for some hours to get the 3f PRMI locking going with the arm cavities held off resonance under ALS control, but had no success. The angular motion of the PRC isn't helping, but I feel this shouldn't be a show stopper.

Attachment 1: sensMat.pdf
  14974   Thu Oct 17 11:19:28 2019 gautamUpdateLSCLocking activity last night
  1. Tuning the MICH-->PRM output matrix element
    • Locked the PRMI with the carrier field resonant in the PRC.
    • REFL11 used to control PRCL, AS55 for MICH.
    • Turned on the sensing notches in the control filter bank. Drove a line in MICH at 311.10 Hz.
    • Tweaked the MICH-->PRM matrix element to minimize the coupling witnessed.
    • As shown in Attachment #1, the minimum coupling was found to be at the value -0.34 (the old value was -0.2655).
    • The minimum was very sharp. A 1% change from the optimum value increased the peak height by > x2. Is this reasonable?
  2. Some sensing matrix measurements: After tuning the output matrix element, I locked the PRMI (ETMs misaligned) in four configurations:
    • PRMI locked with carrier resonant. REFL11_I used for PRCL control, AS55_Q used for MICH control.
    • PRMI locked with sidebands resonant. REFL11_I used for PRCL control, AS55_Q used for MICH control.
    • PRMI locked with sidebands resonant. REFL11_I used for PRCL control, REFL165_I used for MICH control (based on sensing matrix measurement and offsets from previous config).
    • PRMI locked with sidebands resonant. REFL33_I used for PRCL control, AS55_Q used for MICH control.
    • The attached GIF shows the evolution of the demodulated sensing lines as we move through configurations.
    • The actual PDFs are attached as a zip, Attachment #2.
  3. PRMI locking with arms under ALS control
    • The arm cavity lengths were controlled as usual with ALS. This system needs some noise budgeting.
    • I set the CARM offset to -8 (arbitrarily chosen, approximately equal to 20nm, but anyways well above the cavity linewidth).
    • Then I re-aligned the PRM, and attemped to lock the PRMI using the 3f settings determined with no arm cavities --> no success.
    • Tried locking using the 1f error signals instead - in this config, the lock could be established.
    • However, I saw that there was significant light on the AS camera, and I had to put in an offset into the MICH loop to make ASDC go as low as possible.
    • I guess it is possible that the ALS control wasn't precise enough and the leaked light to the dark port was because of differential reflectivity of the arm cavities?
    • Anyways, I ran a sensing matrix measurement with the interferometer in this configuration, and I found that the MICH signal in REFL165 had rotated significantly.
    • I also found that the 3f DC offsets in this configuration were ~5x greater than what was the case for the lock with no arm cavities.

This is as far as I got last night. The first step is to see how reliable the settings determined last night are, today. I don't understand how changing the output matrix element can have brought about such a significant change in the MICH/PRCL separation in all the RF photodiodes.

Attachment 1: MICH2PRCLnulling.pdf
Attachment 2: consolidatedSensingMatrices.pdf.zip
  14975   Thu Oct 17 12:34:51 2019 gautamUpdateGeneralDaytime wishlist

Some ideas that would help increase the locking duty-cycle in the short term. 

  1. Seismometer investigation - something is not quite right with the vertex seismometer. This is the one that is primarily used for feedforward, and can be really helpful.
  2. Drifting TTs - it is really annoying to have to re-set the input pointing into the interferometer every ~ hour. See Attachment #1.
  3. FSS - this isn't a scientific statement, but there were ~20-30 minute periods last night where the PC drive RMS was displaying sharp spikes repeating every 2-3 seconds, first with increasing and then decreasing height. This is a new feature to me in the long standing PC drive saga but it doesn't tell me exactly what is going on as I don't know in what frequency band the glitch is actually happening. See Attachment #2.
  4. ALS noise - while it is possible now to routinely transition the arm length control from the POX/POY to CARM/DARM basis, I see some sharp (<0.1 s) dives in the TRX/TRY levels when the arms are under ALS control. This wasn't present a week ago. Needs to be investigated - I defer this to the daytime tomorrow.
Attachment 1: DriftingTTs.png
Attachment 2: FSSweirdness.png
  14976   Thu Oct 17 16:49:53 2019 gautamUpdateASCPRMI ASC - first pass

I tried implementing a basic PRMI ASC using the POP QPD as a sensor. The POP22 buildup RMS is reduced by a factor of a few. This is just a first attempt, I think the loop shape can be made much better, but the stability of the lock is already pretty impressive. For some past work, see here.

Attachment 1: PRMI_ASC.pdf
  14977   Fri Oct 18 17:35:07 2019 gautamUpdateSUSETMX sat box disconnected

Koji suggested systematic investigation of the ETMX suspension electronics. The tests to be done are:

  1. Characterization of PD whitening amplifiers - with the satellite box disconnected, we will look for glitches in the OSEM channels.
  2. Characterization of LT1125s in the PD chain of the amplifiers - with the in-vacuum OSEMs disconnected, we will look for glitches due to the on-board transimpedance amplifiers of the satellite box.
  3. Characterization using the satellite box tester - this will signal problems with the physical OSEMs.
  4. Characterization of the suspension coil driver electronics - this will happen later.

So the ETMX satellite box is unplugged now, starting 530 pm PDT.

The satellite box was reconnected and the suspension was left with watchdog off but OSEM roughly centered. We will watch for glitches over the weekend.

  14980   Mon Oct 21 11:44:19 2019 gautamUpdatesafetyInterlock reconnected to Innolight controller

We also took this opportunity to re-connect the interlock to the Innolight controller (after it was disconnected for diagnosing the mysterious NPRO self-shutdowns). The diode pump current was dialled down to 0, the interlock wires reconnected, and then the diode current was ramped back up to the nominal 2.1 A. The fan to cool the unit remains mounted in a flaky way as we couldn't locate the frame Chub had made for a more secure mounting solution. 

It seems like the pointing of the beam out of the laser head varies somewhat after the startup - I had to adjust the pointing into the PMC a couple of times by ~1 full turn of the Polaris mount screws, but the IMC has been locked (mostly) for the last ~16 hours.


I've checked the state of the laser interlock switch and everything looked normal.

  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?).

Attachment 1: ALSnoiseAnomaly.pdf
Attachment 2: DFDcalib.pdf
Attachment 3: spectra.pdf
Attachment 4: PTgains.pdf
  14982   Mon Oct 21 16:02:21 2019 gautamUpdateSUSETMX over the weekend

Looking at the sensor and oplev trends over the weekend, there was only one event where the optic seems to have been macroscopically misaligned, at ~11:05:00 UTC on Oct 19 (early Saturday morning PDT). I attach a plot of the 2kHz time series data that has the mean value subtracted and a 0.6-1.2 Hz notch filter applied to remove the pendulum motion for better visualization. The y-axis calibration for the top plot assumes 1 ct ~= 1 um. This "glitch" seems to have a timescale of a few seconds, which is consistent with what we see on the CCD monitors when the cavity is locked - the alignment drifts away over a few seconds.

As usual, this tells us nothing conclusive. Anyways, I am re-enabling the watchdog and pushing on with locking activity and hope the suspension cooperates.


The satellite box was reconnected and the suspension was left with watchdog off but OSEM roughly centered. We will watch for glitches over the weekend.

Attachment 1: filteredData.pdf
  14983   Tue Oct 22 00:52:27 2019 gautamUpdateLSCLocking updates
  1. Transition of arms from POX/POY to CARM/DARM was much smoother today - a change was made at the EX PDH setup, see here.
  2. Reliable settings for 3f locking with arms held off resonance seem to have been found.
  3. Took sensing matrix in this condition, measured loop TFs.
  4. Reduced CARM offset - reached arm powers ~50 at which point the PRMI lost lock. Reacquisition was quick though.
    • The POP22_I level seemed to decay as I reduced the CARM offset.
    • This would suggest that somehow the PRCL lock point is getting shifted as I reduce the CARM offset.
    • Tonight, I will investigate this more.
Attachment 1: PRMI3f_ALS_Oct21sensMat.pdf
  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.

Attachment 1: uPDH_X_OLTFs.pdf
  14985   Tue Oct 22 17:35:30 2019 gautamUpdateASCPRMI ASC - first pass

I made a change to the c1ass model to normalize the PIT and YAW POP QPD outputs by the SUM channel. A saturation block is used to prevent divide-by-zero errors, I set the saturation limits to [1,1e5], since the SUM channel is being recorded as counts right now. Model change is shown in the attached screenshots. I compiled and installed the model. Ran the reboot script to reboot all the vertex FEs to avoid the issue of crashing c1lsc.


I tried implementing a basic PRMI ASC using the POP QPD as a sensor. The POP22 buildup RMS is reduced by a factor of a few. This is just a first attempt, I think the loop shape can be made much better, but the stability of the lock is already pretty impressive. For some past work, see here.

Attachment 1: originalPOP_QPD.png
Attachment 2: POP_QPD_modified.png
  14987   Wed Oct 23 11:11:01 2019 gautamUpdateALSEX uPDH electronics checkout

The closest thing I can think of is here.


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-