Single-Element Dual-Interferometer for Precision Inertial Sensing

Sub-Picometer Structural Stability and Performance as a Reference for Laser Frequency Stabilization

authored by
Victor Huarcaya, Miguel Dovale Álvarez, Kohei Yamamoto, Yichao Yang, Stefano Gozzo, Pablo Martínez Cano, Moritz Mehmet, Juan José Esteban Delgado, Jianjun Jia, Gerhard Heinzel

Future GRACE-like geodesy missions could benefit from adopting accelerometer technology akin to that of the LISA Pathfinder, which employed laser interferometric readout at the sub-picometer level in addition to the conventional capacitive sensing, which is at best at the level of 100 pm. Improving accelerometer performance holds great potential to enhance the scientific output of forthcoming missions, carrying invaluable implications for research in climate, water resource management, and disaster risk reduction. To reach sub-picometer displacement sensing precision in the millihertz range, laser interferometers rely on suppression of laser-frequency noise by several orders of magnitude. Many optical frequency stabilization methods are available with varying levels of complexity, size, and performance. In this paper, we describe the performance of a Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on a compact monolithic optic. The setup consists of a commercial fiber injector, a custom-designed pentaprism used to split and recombine the laser beam, and two photoreceivers placed at the complementary output ports of the interferometer. The structural stability of the prism is transferred to the laser frequency via amplification, integration, and feedback of the balanced-detection signal, achieving a fractional frequency instability better than 6 parts in (Formula presented.), corresponding to an interferometer pathlength stability better than (Formula presented.). The prism was designed to host a second interferometer to interrogate the position of a test mass. This optical scheme has been dubbed “single-element dual-interferometer” or SEDI.

Institute of Gravitation Physics
CRC 1227 Designed Quantum States of Matter (DQ-mat)
CRC 1464: Relativistic and Quantum-Based Geodesy (TerraQ)
External Organisation(s)
Texas A and M University
CAS - Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS)
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
Shanghai Aerospace Control Technology Institute
No. of pages
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Analytical Chemistry, Information Systems, Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics, Biochemistry, Instrumentation, Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 13 - Climate Action
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open) (Access: Open)