Goniometric cradles give unobstructed line of sight

Paul Boughton

Aerotech's AGC series goniometric cradles are suitable for single- or multi-axis rotary micro-positioning applications where the payload or measurement area needs to be at the centre of rotation and an unobstructed line of sight is required.

Three goniometers are available with a travel range of +/-45 degrees and radii of curvature set at 85mm, 160mm and 245mm, enabling the units to be stacked together to provide compact pitch, yaw and roll axes with a common and intersecting centre of rotation.

Applications include automated manufacturing and/or testing for laser machining, optical alignment, beam steering and sensor calibration as well as ultra-fine adjustment of sample and detector position for multi-axis diffractometer systems.

Described as cost-competitive for high-precision goniometric positioning, the range features precision wormgear mechanics for arc-second accuracy and repeatability. A choice of brushless, brushed or stepper motors provides further price-performance flexibility.

The AGC Series is available with a direct encoder feedback option where the position sensor is located on the bearing line along the actual radius of curvature, which eliminates the lost motion and resulting accuracy loss associated with rear motor shaft-mounted encoder systems.

As well as improve measured accuracy, this feature also eliminates the need to compensate for worm/wheel wear, increasing position stability over long duration use. The direct encoder feedback option together with Aerotech's HALAR calibration provides a positional accuracy to +/-12 arc-seconds and repeatability to +/-10 arc-seconds across the range.

For the largest AGC-245 model, the encoder resolution is 3.5 arc-seconds before quadrature and final resolution is 0.014 arc-seconds after interpolation.

As with all Aerotech-supplied positioning systems, customised options including vacuum compatibility to 10-6 torr are available. AGC series goniometers can also be supplied fully assembled with other Aerotech linear XYZ and full rotation stages, creating complete multi-axis motion platforms together with machine base and cable management systems. A wide choice of PC-based and standalone motion controls with linear or PWM amplifier technologies are available from the single axis Soloist to the A3200 Automation Platform with 32 synchronised axes of motion and machine controls.

All Aerotech-supplied motion components include calibration and performance documentation, and motion systems are delivered with tuning and set-up parameters stored in the controller for fast, straightforward installation.

For more information, visit www.aerotech.com

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