Investigation into the Origin of the RF Phase Noise for the LISA Laser Transmitter

Jennifer Campbell, Xiaozhen Xu, Demetrios Poulios, Molly Fahey, Kenji Numata, Anthony Yu, Peter Dragic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission is a collaborative consortium led by the European Space Agency (ESA) in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). LISA’s goal is to capture gravitational wave events, such as spacetime distortions caused by massive orbiting bodies. Multiple low noise, single frequency master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) lasers with a polarization-maintaining Yb-fiber amplifier will serve as the light sources for the LISA observatory. The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is currently developing the laser transmitters for this project. The LISA lasers will carry radio frequency (RF) sidebands for exchanging reference RF clock information between spacecrafts. Excess phase noise, especially carrier-sideband differential phase noise added to the modulation sideband by the phase modulator and the fiber amplifier, becomes a concern. In the gravitational wave frequency ranges, leading sources of this RF “differential” phase noise can be both intrinsic and extrinsic. Examples of intrinsic sources include thermal load on the active fiber, thermo-mechanical induced birefringence, and nonlinearities in the various passive and active fibers. Extrinsic sources can include external temperature fluctuations and infrasonic mechanical strain or vibrations. These noise spectra usually include both white and pink (1/f) thermal noise contributions. This work investigates the physical origins and impact of these sources of RF phase noise, and their characteristic spectra and management will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFiber Lasers XXI
Subtitle of host publicationTechnology and Systems
EditorsClemence Jollivet
ISBN (Electronic)9781510669895
StatePublished - 2024
EventFiber Lasers XXI: Technology and Systems 2024 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jan 29 2024Feb 1 2024

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceFiber Lasers XXI: Technology and Systems 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Laser Interferometer Space Antenna
  • RF
  • differential phase noise
  • fiber laser
  • gravitational waves
  • phase noise
  • ytterbium-doped fiber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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