Control of the gravitational wave interferometric detector Advanced Virgo

Abstract : The first detection of a Gravitational Wave (GW) was done on September 14 th of 2015 by the LIGO-Virgo collaboration with the two LIGO detectors. It was emitted by the merger of a Binary Black Hole, providing the first direct proof of the existence of Black Holes. Advanced Virgo is the upgraded version of the Virgo interferometer and it will join the LIGO detectors in the next months. The passage of a GW on Earth induces a change on the distance between test masses (experiencing only the gravitational interaction) in a differential way. This distance variation is proportional to the amplitude of the GW however the largest displacement observable on Earth will be of the order of 10⁻¹⁹ m/sqrt(Hz). Taking this in account, a Michelson interferometer is the ideal instrument to detect this differential effect. GWs detectors will use suspended mirrors to behave as test masses. The passage of a GW will cause a change on the distance between the mirrors that will spoil the interference condition, allowing some light to leak to the detection photodiode. However, a simple Michelson interferometer does not provide enough sensitivity. For this reason the first generation of detectors added Fabry-Perot cavities in the arms, in order to increase the optical path. A second change was the addition of an extra mirror in order to recycle the light that comes back towards the laser, to increase the effective power, creating a new cavity also known as Power Recycling Cavity (PRC). Its effect is more important when the Michelson is tuned in an optimal way in a dark fringe. All the mirrors of the detector are affected by the seismic noise and so their distance is continuously changing. It is necessary to control the longitudinal and angular position of the cavities in order to keep them at resonance. During my thesis I have studied the control of Advanced Virgo using simulation and during the commissioning itself. First of all I have simulated the control strategy used in Virgo using modal simulations. The aim was to check if the same strategy could be applied to Advanced Virgo or if it needs adaptation. In Advanced Virgo the Fabry-Perot cavities have a higher finesse, which arises new dynamical problems and requires a special control strategy that I have modified to match the commissioning needs. Regarding the PRC, we have studied the impact of its stability on the performance of the interferometer. As it is very close from the instability region, the electrical field inside will be very sensitive to alignment and matching of the laser beam. We have checked using simulations its impact on the longitudinal controls, which can become unstable, and a solution has been validated. Then I have used this information during the commissioning of the Advanced Virgo detector. In this thesis the details of the commissioning of the longitudinal and angular control of the interferometer will be presented. It includes the frequency stabilization, which has a key role in the control of the interferometer, since it is the dominant noise.
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Julia Casanueva Diaz. Control of the gravitational wave interferometric detector Advanced Virgo. Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysic [astro-ph.IM]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLS209⟩. ⟨tel-01625376⟩

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