Advanced LIGO subsystems
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Auxiliary Optics Core Optics
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LIGO Technology Development and Migration

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Technology Type:  Ultra-High Vacuum Components and Techniques

Manufacturable Vacuum Cable Clamp

** Institution:  LIGO Laboratory
** Contact:  Richard Abbott  
abbott_r(at), 626.395.3449
** Funding Agency:  National Science Foundation
** Technology Source:  Initial LIGO
 Patent Thumbnail

[rich]The most important inventions are often the simplest. Interferometric gravitational wave detectors are themselves complex scientific instruments. The in-vacuum optical systems (extremely high performance mirrors and beam-splitters) must be held free from all contamination (organic and particulate) while simultaneously being isolated from seismic noise. However, it is in addition necessary to apply electrical signals to control the active Internal Seismic Isolation (ISI) and passive Suspension System (SUS) and in addition command the optical components positions and pointing to maintain the alignment of the optical system. This requires the use of a large number of ultra high vacuum (UHV) compatible electrical cables to route signals from the control electronics outside the vacuum system through the vacuum envelope to the ISI, the SUS and the controlled optics. All of this must occur without compromising the ISI performance or the SUS. Enabling a convenient method of fixing the cables in a way compatible with the UHV cleanliness standards is the purpose of these clamps. Since many cables must be used with the SUS and the ISI systems, many clamps must be used. Therefore it is important that the cable clamps be UHV compatible and mass produced. [clamps]The best high volume manufacturing technique is injection molding using UHV compatible plastics. The cable routing problem is complex and the available mounting surface area small, thus the clamps must be able to handle different numbers of cables. This is accomplished using two identical nesting parts that can accommodate a wide range of cable bundles.

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