We have tested a new kind of Fabry–Perot long-baseline optical resonator proposed to reduce the thermal noise sensitivity of gravitational wave interferometric detectors—the “mesa beam” cavity—whose flat top beam shape is achieved by means of an aspherical end mirror. We present the fundamental mode intensity pattern for this cavity and its distortion due to surface imperfections and tilt misalignments, and contrast the higher order mode patterns to the Gauss–Laguerre modes of a spherical mirror cavity. We discuss the effects of mirror tilts on cavity alignment and locking and present measurements of the mesa beam tilt sensitivity.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
Lasers and Laser Optics
Original Manuscript: February 23, 2007
Revised Manuscript: July 6, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: July 11, 2007
Published: September 7, 2007
Marco G. Tarallo, John Miller, J. Agresti, E. D'Ambrosio, R. DeSalvo, D. Forest, B. Lagrange, J. M. Mackowsky, C. Michel, J. L. Montorio, N. Morgado, L. Pinard, A. Remilleux, B. Simoni, and P. Willems, "Generation of a flat-top laser beam for gravitational wave detectors by means of a nonspherical Fabry-Perot resonator," Appl. Opt. 46, 6648-6654 (2007)