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Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents 

  1. How do I place an order for a fast steering mirror ?
  2. When is a metal mirror preferable to a glass mirror ?
  3. Why use a digital instead of an analog fast steering mirror controller ?
  4. Can I use a beam stabilizer on a pulsed laser?
  5. Can I scan the mirror full amplitude at the specified bandwidth?
  6. How long can the mirror head to controller cable be without sacrificing performance?

How do I place an order for a fast steering mirror ?

Email us or call us and we will send you a quote for the product you are interested in.  Then you can send us a purchase order.  We will bill you after the product ships.  Our terms are NET 30.  We do not accept credit cards.

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When is a metal mirror preferable to a glass mirror ?

Fast Steering Mirror Designs

Metal mirrors can be larger with lower inertia than a comparable glass mirror.  Aluminum is used for a low cost approach and Beryllium is used for the best performance.   Our 3" mirror has an aluminum mirror substrate which is replicated for a 1/4th wave peak to valley flatness.  The replication process is similar to the process used to make gratings, however the master is an optical flat.  After replication the substrate is coated with either protected aluminum, gold or silver.

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Why use a digital instead of an analog fast steering mirror controller ?

DSP Controllers

Modern DSP chips have made it possible to achieve the performance and resolution of an analog controller with the added benefit of simpler performance optimization.  With a digital controller, the fast steering mirror can be optimized for its given application.  

Our standard fast steering mirrors come with analog controllers that have user adjustable PID values.  The user can easily adjust the controller for the best response for his application.  Currently we are developing a digital controller for our standard products. 

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Can I use a beam stabilizer on a pulsed laser?

Our position detector has a bandwidth of 10KHz and laser pulses may cause beam jitter at the laser modulation rate.  Pulse rates above 10KHz should not be a problem.

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Can I scan the mirror full amplitude at the specified bandwidth?

The 3dB bandwidth in the spec is only for very small amplitude motion.  We drive the mirror at 10mV to obtain the bandwidth.  The maximum frequency and amplitude of scan varies with mirror model.  Our OIM101 1" FSM can scan full amplitude (+/-1.5 deg) at around 60Hz.

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How long can the mirror head to controller cable be without sacrificing performance?

Cable length from the optical head to the controller of up to 35 feet can be used with little to no decrease in mirror performance.  We use differential input instrumentation amplifier on the user input commands (x and y commands) so if long cables are used, the drive signals should be differential to minimize noise.

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