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September, 2013

Menlo Systems ORS1500 Optical Reference System:
Achieving Stability to < 3•10-15 over 1-10s

Precision measurement continues to be driven to ever tightening tolerances, and this requires the generation of ever more accurate optical references. Scientists have routinely developed their own reference systems, either at great expense in time and resources, or with limitations on performance or characterisation.

Designed for NIST at Boulder, Colorado; Menlo Systems have recently constructed and released a benchmark optical reference system in the NIR, now realised commercially as the ORS1500. The Optical Reference System (ORS) delivers an optical output with ultra narrow linewidth and outstanding short time stability. The ORS consists of a CW laser locked to a stable high-finesse cavity made of ultra low expansion (ULE) glass. The compact design allows for integration of high vacuum, temperature stabilisation, vibration and acoustic isolation into a 19” system while delivering state-of-the-art laser linewidth and stability.

A key benefit is the existence of a twin reference system at Menlo’s headquarters in Munich. Every new ORS system can be benchmarked against this known reference to confirm the reference cavity’s performance prior to shipment. This is an important advantage to research groups that may not have the means to characterise system performance at this level of precision.

Wavelength: 1542nmOutput power: >5mW
Linewidth of stabilised laser: <1HzStability: Allan Deviation (1-10s) <3•10-15
Finesse of cavity: >400,000

Aside from the remarkable performance, the fact that the system must be transported and still maintain reliability was a key design consideration. The system design includes a mechanical locking feature which allows for transportation of the system without the need to readjust the beam coupling into the cavity, once the mechanism is disengaged. The transport of the initial system from Munich, Germany to Boulder, Colorado proved the design’s success, where the transport mechanism was disengaged and the system successfully benchmarked.

Beat note of two ORS systems. One of which is the in-house reference in Munich for confirming performance characteristics of an ORS prior to shipment. The upper limit is measured at <0.3Hz.

This system is exclusively offered by Menlo Systems, and through Coherent Scientific in Australia and New Zealand. To learn more, please reference the ORS1500 white paper. For more information on the design, purchase or capabilities of this technology, please contact Dr. Dale Otten at +61-(0)8-8150-8526, reach him by email or read more on our website.


Dr Paul Wardill
(08) 8150 5279 (0419) 810 220 Email
Jeshua Graham
(08) 8150 5254 (0488) 177 540 Email
Andrew Masters
(0439) 819 095 Email

Coherent Scientific Pty. Ltd., Inc. in South Australia, Established in 1989, ABN 20 008 265 969

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