Laser Beam Stabilization
A comprehensive experiment for teaching and researching laser stabilization techniques.
Laser Beam Stabilization: THE TECHNOLOGY
Laser beam stabilization is a technology currently used in aircraft/spacecraft targeting, surveillance and free space laser-based communication systems. It is also found in manufacturing equipment such as semiconductor manufacturing/inspection, materials processing, industrial marking, repographics, information display and biomedical systems – applications requiring precise mechanical alignment free of vibration-disturbance effects introduced by nearby mechanical components (e.g., fans).
In other applications, compensation is also required for the influences of vehicle motion and drift to avoid the blurring of images. To address this, stabilization systems are often required to simultaneously manage both large-angle, low-frequency, and small-angle, high-frequency corrections. So understanding and applying this technology will result in improved performances (and life cycles) of system components, including bearings, motors, sensors and more.
Laser Beam Stabilization: THE EXPERIMENT
Quanser’s exciting Laser Beam Stabilization experiment is designed to teach all the principles involved in laser stabilization techniques using a single-axis, fast-voice steering mirror and a high-resolution position sensing detector (PSD). The experiment boasts leading-edge technology to attain an exceptional high-performance laser stabilization system.
The experiment consists of a low-power stationary laser beam source pointing at a moving mirror such that the reflected beam is picked up by a PSD. The PSD measures the relative displacement of the beam from the nominal position and the mirror mechanism is actuated using a high-bandwidth voice coil. The mechanism is mounted on a spring-loaded linear slide that is free to oscillate along one axis. These oscillations can be powering a motor driving an eccentric load, while turning the motor induces the undesired vibrations in the laser beam position. The student is asked to design a controller that will reduce the oscillations to under 50 micrometers.
- Fully compatible with MATLAB/Simulink, LabVIEW
- High resolution optical encoders to sense position
- Robust machined components
- Open architecture design
- Fully documented system models & parameters
- Low-power optical laser
- Voice-coil actuator
- High-resolution position sensing detector (PSD)
- Direct measurement of base vibration
- Direct measurement of voice-coil position
- Control loop frequency greater than 10kHz
- Minimum 12-bit accuracy on A/D conversion
- Minimum 2x A/D, 2x D/A, 2x quadrature encoder
- Recommended hardware: Q8/Q4 Real-Time Controls PCI Board or NI RIO board
- Recommended software: Wincon for use with Simulink, LabView RT-RTX
Project / Research
Laser Beam Stabilization