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Advanced LIGO News

Livingston Pre-Stabilized Laser Installation Reaches Completion

Some photos courtesy of AEI/LZH

[news]Personnel from the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) and LIGO finished the installation of the Livingston detector (L1) Advanced LIGO laser system (PSL -- pre-stabilized laser) in the late spring of 2011. LIGO will now embark on a commissioning program to optimize the system's day-to-day performance and integrate the PSL with the detector's vacuum input optics that have yet to be installed. The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Wave Research/Albert Einstein Institute in Hannover supplies the Advanced LIGO laser systems for the L1, H2 and H1 detectors and a fourth for research and characterization as a German contribution to the aLIGO international partnership. The industrial partner LZH has collaborated with MPI/AEI to manufacture the lasers and participate in their characterization and installation.

The photo above shows most of the the major PSL components. Moving from left to right in the photo, the first large encasement contains the 2-Watt non-planar ring oscillator (NPRO) and a medium power stage that boost the light power to 35 W. The large blue-trimmed case, the high-power amplifier, contains four end-pumped laser heads. Each laser head is pumped by seven 45 W laser diodes. These pump diodes rest in a separate room outside of the PSL enclosure; their light enters the amplifier through optical fibers. The high power amplifier brings the beam power to 180 W. To the right of the amplifier sits a black case that contains a set of diagnostic electronics. The nearby white enclosure contains a resonant cavity that passes the beam through a bow-tie path for filtering. The large yellow cylinder houses the reference cavity, another rigid resonant cavity that acts as a frequency reference for the main laser. Finally, the periscope on the table's distant corner will contain the mirrors that reflect the beam through a light pipe and into the vacuum system.

Image 1:  The nearly-bare PSL table inside the new aLIGO enclosure at LIGO Livingston

Image 2:  Moving the high power amplifier into position

Image 3:  A nice view of the uncovered reference cavity

Image 4:  Populating the PSL table

Image 5:  A view of the NPRO and the medium power stage

Image 6:  A rack in the pump diode room

[bare table]

[ref cav]

[diode room]


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