Directional radiative cooling thermal compensation for gravitational wave interferometer mirrors
Journal article, 2009
The concept of utilizing directional radiative cooling to correct the problem of thermal lensing in the mirrors of the LIGO/VIRGO gravitational wave detectors has been shown and has prospects for future use. Two different designs utilizing this concept, referred to as the baffled and parabolic mirror solutions, have been proposed with different means of controlling the cooling power. The technique takes advantage of the power naturally radiated by the mirror surfaces at room temperature to prevent their heating by the powerful stored laser beams. The baffled solution has been simulated via COMSOL Multiphysics as a design tool. Finally, the parabolic mirror concept was experimentally validated with the results falling in close agreement with theoretical cooling calculations. The technique of directional radiative thermal correction can be reversed to image heat rings on the mirrors periphery to remotely and dynamically correct their radius of curvature without subjecting the mirror to relevant perturbations. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.