Optics, lasers and optical sensors gravitational wave detectors are the most sensitive instruments ever created, able to detect energy ~ 10-30 Joules per Hz of bandwidth, and motions of ~10-20 metres.

Sensitivity

This sensitivity is achieved through major advances in optics, high optical power laser metrology, and the use of control systems to maintain the alignment and positions of multiple optical elements in highly vibration isolated vacuum environments. Many of the technologies have applications in a variety of industrial situations.

Vertical vibration isolation with minimum elastic stored energy.

Euler springs invented at the AIGRC allow up to 2 order of magnitude reduction in  spring mass for vertical vibration isolation in vibration situations with constant mass and load.

Ultralow frequency vertical vibration isolation

  • Lacoste Linkage vibration isolators that reduce vertical resonant frequencies to 20mHz  (about 1 cycle per minute).
  • Euler-Lacoste Linkages that combine the low elastic stored energy of the Euler spring  with the very low frequency of the Lacoste linkage.

Ultralow frequency horizontal vibration isolation.

  • Roberts Linkage vibration isolators capable of vibration attenuation down to 20mHz. o Inverted pendulum vibration isolation down to 50mHz.
  • Watts Linkage isolators for one-dimensional vibration suppression down to 20mHz. AIGRC: Research Expertise 2012 3

Rotational Vibration Isolation

  • Rotational isolation down to 20mHz with very low translation to rotation coupling.
  • Multistage rotational/translational isolation for high isolation at audio frequencies.

High sensitivity tilt sensors

  • 2D Tilt sensors based on novel walk-off laser readout.
  • Tilt control using ultra-sensitive tilt readout.

Self-damping systems

  • Systems that passively extract vibrational energy internally to the vibrating system
  • Pendulums that lose energy internally to allow critical damping without application of external forces.