We present measurements of an optomechanical accelerometer for monitoring low-frequency noise in gravitational wave detectors, such as ground motion. Our device measures accelerations by tracking the test-mass motion of a 4.7 Hz mechanical resonator using a heterodyne interferometer. This resonator is etched from monolithic fused silica, an under-explored design in low-frequency sensors, allowing a device with a noise floor competitive with existing technologies but with a lighter and more compact form. In addition, our heterodyne interferometer is a compact optical assembly that can be integrated directly into the mechanical resonator wafer to further reduce the overall size of our accelerometer. We anticipate this accelerometer to perform competitively with commercial seismometers, and benchtop measurements show a noise floor reaching 82 pico-g Hz−1/2 sensitivities at 0.4 Hz. Furthermore, we present the effects of air pressure, laser fluctuations, and temperature to determine the stability requirements needed to achieve thermally limited measurements.
Compact optomechanical accelerometers for use in gravitational wave detectors
Note: This paper is part of the APL Special Collection on Gravitational Wave Detectors.
A. Hines, A. Nelson, Y. Zhang, G. Valdes, J. Sanjuan, F. Guzman; Compact optomechanical accelerometers for use in gravitational wave detectors. Appl. Phys. Lett. 27 February 2023; 122 (9): 094101. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0142108
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