Research & Design

Cosmic Explorer Optical Design:

At the heart of the Cosmic Explorer concept are 40km and 20km laser interferometers operating with unprecedented strain sensitivity, an order of magnitude greater than that of Advanced LIGO. The improved sensitivity is primarily afforded by the increase in scale, as opposed to the implementation of as-yet unverified technological advancements, thereby reducing technical risk. Nonetheless, the increase in scale itself presents unique challenges for the optical design of the Cosmic Explorer interferometers, such as decreased frequency spacing of parasitic optical modes, control band-width limitations due to the cavity delay, and tighter noise requirements for auxiliary degrees of freedom at low frequencies. Moreover, with the design of an entirely new facility comes the opportunity to develop the optical layout and the infrastructure in parallel, minimizing facility constraints impact on instrument performance, and therefore the achievable science. We are thus working on conceptual optical design for the Cosmic Explorer interferometers, informing all other detector subsystem requirements.

Our Center is leading the interferometer lock acquisition design and the laser frequency and intensity stabilization design as part of the overall Cosmic Explorer Optical Design.

Mode Sensing and Control system for Cosmic Explorer:

For Cosmic Explorer to operate it needs to perform quantum-limited interferometer at the megawatt scale. This puts unique challenges on sensing and controlling the thermally induced mirror deformations. The Cosmic Explorer Design thus needs to incorporate a Mode Sensing and Control system capable of maintaining the precise optical mode shapes required for the interferometer to work at its design sensitivity.

Our Center is leading the sensing system design as part of the Cosmic Explorer Mode Sensing and Control Design.

Piezo-electrically actuated Active Mode-matching State (P-SAMS), developed in collaboration between MIT and Syracuse University for LIGO A+. The P-SAMS is a mirror with adjustable radius of curvature, suspended to isolate it from the seismic environment