Design of a rugged, ultra-stable, space-flight-ready optical cavity system
- This dissertation is inspired by the requirements of the mini Space Time Asymmetry Research (mSTAR) experiment, which proposes to detect variations in the speed of light as small as two parts in 10^17. The mSTAR experimental apparatus is based on an optical cavity orbiting the earth in a satellite. This optical cavity must have an ultra-stable length and be precisely aligned with an external optical system. Potential disturbances of the cavity length include contact forces, inertial forces, and thermal expansion. Additionally, the precise alignment of the optical cavity and the external optical system must survive launch and ascent to orbit. I discuss a series of strategies for the design of a rugged, ultra-stable, space-flight- ready optical cavity system. This series begins with the creation of a general purpose genetic algorithm topology optimization program. In an attempt to minimize cavity length changes due to contact forces, I apply this program to the design of a strain- attenuating optical cavity spacer. The results of this optimization highlight some of the complications inherent in optical cavity optimization, and they prompt a study of the limitations of finite element precision. In response to these limitations I then develop a general purpose parallelized design space search program and apply it to the design of an inertially insensitive optical cavity spacer. I then seek to minimize thermal expansion and identify twenty-six athermal pairs of materials. Next, I optimize the optical cavity mode-matching optics for simplicity and compactness. Finally, the results of these design strategies are synthesized in two detailed designs for an optical cavity system that, compared with the state-of-the-art, are potentially more rugged, less expensive, less thermally sensitive, contain lower levels of residual stress, and have a more robust mode-matching optics alignment system.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Cutler, Grant Dufresne
|Stanford University, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
|DeBra, D. B. (Daniel B.)
|DeBra, D. B. (Daniel B.)
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2016.
- © 2016 by Grant Dufresne Cutler
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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