Homodyne detection relies on the beat between a relatively strong local oscillator (LO) field at the carrier frequency and a signal beam with sidebands centered around the carrier frequency. This type of signal detection, or signal readout, is widely used in quantum optics applications and is expected to be used in advanced interferometric gravitational wave detectors. We investigate experimentally the limitations to making such measurements in a laboratory environment at audio frequencies. We find that beam jitter noise, electronic noise of the photodetectors, and the LO intensity noise can limit the homodyne detection in this frequency band, and we discuss potential solutions.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 20, 2006
Revised Manuscript: October 22, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: February 19, 2007
Published: May 18, 2007
Kirk McKenzie, Malcolm B. Gray, Ping Koy Lam, and David E. McClelland, "Technical limitations to homodyne detection at audio frequencies," Appl. Opt. 46, 3389-3395 (2007)