Method Comparison for Simulating Non-Gaussian Beams and Diffraction for Precision Interferometry

authored by
Mengyuan Zhao, Yazheng Tao, Kevin Weber, Tim Kaune, Sönke Schuster, Zhenxiang Hao, Gudrun Wanner

In the context of simulating precision laser interferometers, we use several examples to compare two wavefront decomposition methods-the Mode Expansion Method (MEM) and the Gaussian Beam Decomposition (GBD) method-for their precision and applicability. To assess the performance of these methods, we define different types of errors and study their properties. We specify how the two methods can be fairly compared and based on that, compare the quality of the MEM and GBD through several examples. Here, we test cases for which analytic results are available, i.e., non-clipped circular and general astigmatic Gaussian beams, as well as clipped circular Gaussian beams, in the near, far, and extremely far fields of millions of kilometers occurring in space-gravitational wave detectors. Additionally, we compare the methods for aberrated wavefronts and their interaction with optical components by testing reflections from differently curved mirrors. We find that both methods can generally be used for decomposing non-Gaussian beams. However, which method is more accurate depends on the optical system and simulation settings. In the given examples, the MEM more accurately describes non-clipped Gaussian beams, whereas for clipped Gaussian beams and the interaction with surfaces, the GBD is more precise.

CRC 1464: Relativistic and Quantum-Based Geodesy (TerraQ)
Institute of Gravitation Physics
PhoenixD: Photonics, Optics, and Engineering - Innovation Across Disciplines
External Organisation(s)
Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS)
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
No. of pages
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Analytical Chemistry, Information Systems, Instrumentation, Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Biochemistry
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open)