Investigation and mitigation of noise contributions in a compact heterodyne interferometer

Yanqi Zhang, Adam S. Hines, Guillermo Valdes, Felipe Guzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a noise estimation and subtraction algorithm capable of increasing the sensitivity of heterodyne laser interferometers by one order of magnitude. The heterodyne interferometer is specially designed for dynamic measurements of a test mass in the application of sub-Hz inertial sensing. A noise floor of 3.31 × 10−11 m/Hz at 100 mHz is achieved after applying our noise subtraction algorithm to a benchtop prototype interferometer that showed a noise level of 2.76 × 10−10 m/Hz at 100 mHz when tested in vacuum at levels of 3 × 10−5 Torr. Based on the previous results, we investigated noise estimation and subtraction techniques of non-linear optical pathlength noise, laser frequency noise, and temperature fluctuations in heterodyne laser interferometers. For each noise source, we identified its contribution and removed it from the measurement by linear fitting or a spectral analysis algorithm. The noise correction algorithm we present in this article can be generally applied to heterodyne laser interferometers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5788
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Displacement measuring interferometry (DMI)
  • Heterodyne laser interferometer
  • Inertial sensing
  • Noise subtraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigation and mitigation of noise contributions in a compact heterodyne interferometer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this