August 11, 2004
LASER Beam Steering Device
This project utilized one E Lab technology (piezo-ceramics)
to leverage a second (laser application). Dr. Steve Tehon's piezo-electric
ceramic bender elements (cousins to sonar transducers) were combined to build a
laser beam steering device for Gordon Jacobs' laser program.
The overview photo shows the beam steerer scanning a laser
beam in a spiral pattern. The intermediate photo shows the steering mechanism,
and the detail picture show the detail of the "tipping" mirror. In the detail
photo, you can see that a small light weight mirror was supported in the center
of 6 equally spaced piezo-electric transducers.
The design goal was to achieve the most rapid 2 dimensional
steering possible. This required minimum moving mass, distributed drive energy
among a large number of transducers, and control the dynamic response of the
resulting assembly. 4 transducers operating on X-Y coordinates were not quite
strong enough, so 6 were utilized. This created the need for a 3 phase
electrical driving scheme, which was realized with a Scott-T transformer
connection between the X-Y power drive amplifiers, and the transducers.