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Optical Design & Engineering

Piezo steering mirrors

Physik Instrumente

PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. recently released the S-331 fast tip/tip platform, the newest piezo steering mirrors in PI's portfolio. With milli-second response and settling time and high dynamic linearity, these fast tip/tilt platforms are ideal for precision optics applications in ambient and vacuum environments.

2-Axis, Frictionless Guiding, No Polarization Rotation
S-331 steering mirror platforms provide precise angular tip/tilt motion of the top platform around two orthogonal axes. These flexure-guided, electro-ceramic driven systems can provide higher accelerations than other actuators, enabling step response times in the sub-millisecond range, with frictionless backlash-free motion.

The single pivot-point design also prevents the drawback of polarization rotation, which is common with conventional 2-axis stacked systems, e.g. galvo scanners. With a tip/tilt angle up to 5 mrad and optical deflection angle up to 10 mrad, these platforms are ideal for compact mirrors up to ½ inch in diameter.

Parallel-Kinematics: Smaller with Improved Stability, Linearity & Dynamics
PI piezo steering mirrors are based on a parallel-kinematics design with coplanar rotational axes and a single moving platform driven by two pairs of differential actuators. The advantage is jitter-free, multi-axis motion with excellent temperature stability. Compared to stacked (two-stage) mirror scanners, the parallel-kinematics design provides symmetrical dynamic performance in both axes with faster response and better linearity in a smaller package.

Temperature Stability, Reliability
The steering mirrors high performance drives are powered by 100% ceramic insultated actuators that have a long lifetime, and are not sensitive to humidity or high operating temperatures. In fact, the proprietary design of the actuators was lifetime tested by NASA/JPL for space use, qualified by delivering 100 billion cycles of failure-free motion, and were part of the Mars Curiosity Rover. Excellent temperature stability is managed in the closed-loop version by metal foil strain gauge sensors that allow fast, exact linear motion with very small linearity deviations of 0.1%.