The wandering line I mentioned in my previous elog, which is spoiling most of the sensitivity, turns out to be power noise of the laser.
I used a Thorlabs PDA100 and a SR785 to measure the power noise out of the laser directly, and saw a huge forest of peaks above 20kHz. Among them, a couple of peaks are moving up and down in frequency very fast. The plot below compares two different times of the Thorlabs HNL210L laser (the new one, 21 mW) with the old JTSU laser we are using for the test setup:
The noise of the new laser is cleary much larger (even after the laser has been on for some time) and non stationary. This is a big issue for us. I will contact Thorlabs to inquire if this behavior is normal.
The attached video file shows the peaks dancing around on the SR785 screen.