F. Wellmann
N. Bode
P. Weßels
L. Overmeyer
J. Neumann
B. Willke
D. Kracht

Low noise 400 W coherently combined single frequency laser beam for next generation gravitational wave detectors

Opt. Express
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
Design studies for the next generation of interferometric gravitational wave detectors propose the use of low-noise single-frequency high power laser sources at 1064 nm. Fiber amplifiers are a promising design option because of their high output power and excellent optical beam properties. We performed filled-aperture coherent beam combining with independently amplified beams from two low-noise high-power single-frequency fiber amplifiers to further scale the available optical power. An optical power of approximately 400 W with a combining efficiency of more than 93\% was achieved. The combined beam contained 370 W of linearly polarized TEM00-mode and was characterized with respect to the application requirements of low relative power noise, relative beam pointing noise, and frequency noise. The noise performance of the combined beam is comparable to the single amplifier noise. This represents, to our knowledge, the highest measured power in the TEM00-mode of single frequency signals that fulfills the low noise requirements of gravitational wave detectors.