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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 17 — Aug. 15, 2011
  • pp: 15937–15946

Experimental demonstration of weak-light laser ranging and data communication for LISA

Juan José Esteban, Antonio F. García, Simon Barke, Antonio M. Peinado, Felipe Guzmán Cervantes, Iouri Bykov, Gerhard Heinzel, and Karsten Danzmann  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 17, pp. 15937-15946 (2011)

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Interferometric gravitational wave detectors with an unequal and time-varying arm length configuration like the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna rely on time-delay interferometry (TDI) for laser frequency noise subtraction. However, the TDI algorithm requires a laser ranging scheme with meter accuracy over a five million kilometer arm length. At the end of each arm only about 100 pW of light power will be detected for gravitational wave measurements and only 1% of this power can be used for laser ranging in order to avoid degradation in the phase stability of the science measurements. Here, we present the first experimental demonstration of such a ranging scheme at 1 pW power levels using a Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DS/SS) modulation. This type of modulation also enables optical communication by encoding data with ranging signals and provides significant noise reduction against spurious interfering signals for bidirectional ranging. Experimental results show ranging measurements of 42 cm at 3 Hz and the viability of highly reliable data transfer at several kilobits per second.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(280.3400) Remote sensing and sensors : Laser range finder
(060.2605) Fiber optics and optical communications : Free-space optical communication

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: June 16, 2011
Revised Manuscript: July 14, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: July 14, 2011
Published: August 4, 2011

Juan José Esteban, Antonio F. García, Simon Barke, Antonio M. Peinado, Felipe Guzmán Cervantes, Iouri Bykov, Gerhard Heinzel, and Karsten Danzmann, "Experimental demonstration of weak-light laser ranging and data communication for LISA," Opt. Express 19, 15937-15946 (2011)

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