National Capital Section
of the Optical Society of America

 Second 2016-2017 meeting of the
National Capital Section of the Optical Society of America

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016, 6:00 PM

At the NASA/Goddard Visitors Center, ICESat Road, 
Greenbelt, MD


Dr. Paul Fulda, Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory, Code 663, Goddard Space Flight Center

 “The Optical Design of Advanced LIGO and Active Areas of Optics Research in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration”


Advanced LIGO made the first direct detections of gravitational waves from binary black hole systems during its first science run in the fall of 2015, heralding the dawn of the era of gravitational wave astronomy. From the 125W continuous wave laser source to the state-of-the-art fused silica test masses, the Advanced LIGO project has been pushing the boundaries of optics since its inception, building on the expertise gained from the installation and commissioning of the initial LIGO detectors. In this talk I will discuss the optics technology , development and design that made the impressive feats of Advanced LIGO possible. I will also describe some of the current challenges in optics for ground-based gravitational wave detectors, as the fields looks once again to improve the sensitivity to gravitational waves in the near future.

Paul Fulda graduated from the University of Birmingham with a doctorate in physics in 2012, where his thesis research was focused on the development of higher-order spatial laser modes for reducing thermal noise in gravitational wave detectors. Paul then took a postdoc position at the University of Florida, where he worked on Advanced LIGO commissioning as well as investigating new sensing and control methods for optimizing beam matching and alignment in laser interferometers. Paul is now working as a visiting scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he is researching interferometry techniques for LISA – a future gravitational wave detector in space. Paul has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since 2008.


6:00 PM          Social Time

6:30 PM          Featured Talk

~7:45 PM        Dinner (details to be announced at the meeting.)

Jim Heany,


DIRECTIONS to NASA Goddard Recreation Center

A map to the NASA Goddard Visitor's center is at their website:

From the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495) INNER LOOP: exit onto the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, North, towards Baltimore.
Almost immediately, exit onto Greenbelt Road (Rt. 193) East, following signs towards NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (you will turn
left from the exit ramp onto Greenbelt Road eastbound.)
From the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495) OUTER LOOP, on the exit road to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway there is a slip road
that merges directly on to Greenbelt Road eastbound.

Travelling east on Greenbelt Road:
Continue past the Goddard main entrance (on the left), pass one more traffic light, and turn left at the next light onto Good Luck Road. Look for a gate on the left, within less than 1⁄4 mile. There will be a guard at the gate to admit visitors after 5:30 PM.

From Baltimore: Take the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Route 295) South to the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. Exit at Powder Mill road, turn left and go under the bridge. Turn right at the first traffic light and go about 3 miles to Goodluck Road and turn right when you reach Greenbelt Road. Take your first right at ICESat Road, which is what this section of what was Soil Conservation road is now called. Take your first left to reach the Visitors Center.

OUR NEXT MEETING – Stay tuned for the full 2016-2017 Series of meetings.

Mirror Tech Days (MTD) 2016,  SPIE Workshop

November 1st to 3rd, Greenbelt, MD


The November meeting of the NCS/OSA will consist of the hosting of the Mirror Tech Days 2016 by our NCS. The MTD conference is co-sponsored by our NCS, the Huntsville Electro-Optics Society (HEOS) and the SPIE. It will take place at the Greenbelt Marriott from Nov. 1 -3, 2016. As part of the MTD conference, the NCS will host a tour of the JWST facilities of the Goddard Space Flight Center on the afternoon of Monday Oct. 31, 2016 for MTD registrants and Tuesday evening reception (Nov. 1, 6PM at the Marriott Hotel) for conference attendees to which NCS dues paying members are invited as our guests. For additional information, please contact Jim Heaney at if you wish to help our NCS team with any of these activities.


Please share this announcement with your colleagues, and tell them to look at our Web Site at:

If you would like to receive the meeting announcements, please send an email to asking that your name be added to our mailing list.

Membership Dues for 2016-2017 - Dues for the National Capital Section are free during the first year of membership. After the first year, dues are $10 per year. If you have not yet paid, please send $10 ($5 for students) to the NCS/OSA secretary at the address given below. If you are not sure if you have paid, please call (301) 286-0690 or e-mail to check.



From the OSA’s 100th Anniversary Collection


Lasers, developed during the mid-20th century, deliver coherent light in a tightly focused beam. Depending on application, lasers can be as small as a strand of DNA or as large as a sports stadium. They can generate power from a few picowatts to more than 500 trillion watts. Their applications range from high-speed communications and digital technologies to medical advances and precision manufacturing.


Previous Meeting Announcements

Legacy NCS-OSA Website