Load-cell based characterization system for a "Violin-Mode" shadow-sensor in advanced LIGO suspensions

Lockerbie, N. A. and Tokmakov, K. V. (2016) Load-cell based characterization system for a "Violin-Mode" shadow-sensor in advanced LIGO suspensions. Review of Scientific Instruments, 87 (7). ISSN 0034-6748

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    Abstract

    The background to this work was a prototype shadow sensor, which was designed for retro-fitting to an Advanced LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory) test-mass/mirror suspension, in which 40 kg test-mass/mirrors are each suspended by four approximately 600 mm long by 0.4 mm diameter fused-silica suspension fibres. The shadow sensor comprised a LED source of Near InfraRed (NIR) radiation, and a rectangular silicon photodiode detector, which, together, were to bracket the fibre under test. The aim was to detect transverse Violin-Mode resonances in the suspension fibres. Part of the testing procedure involved tensioning a silica fibre sample, and translating it transversely through the illuminating NIR beam, so as to measure the DC responsivity of the detection system to fibre displacement. However, an equally important part of the procedure, reported here, was to keep the fibre under test stationary within the beam, whilst trying to detect low-level AC Violin-Mode resonances excited on the fibre, in order to confirm the primary function of the sensor. Therefore, a tensioning system, incorporating a load-cell readout, was built into the test fibre’s holder. The fibre then was excited by a signal generator, audio power amplifier, and distant loudspeaker, and clear resonances were detected. A theory for the expected fundamental resonant frequency as a function of fibre tension was developed, and is reported here, and this theory was found to match closely the detected resonant frequencies as they varied with tension. Consequently, the resonances seen were identified as being proper Violin-Mode fundamental resonances of the fibre, and the operation of the Violin-Mode detection system was validated.