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Autocollimator

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

T100 autocollimator
T100 autocollimator

An autocollimator is an optical instrument for non-contact measurement of angles. They are typically used to align components and measure deflections in optical or mechanical systems. An autocollimator works by projecting an image onto a target mirror and measuring the deflection of the returned image against a scale, either visually or by means of an electronic detector. A visual autocollimator can measure angles as small as 1 arc-second (4.85 micro-radians), while an electronic autocollimator can have up to 100 times more resolution.

Visual autocollimators are often used for aligning laser rod ends and checking the face parallelism of optical windows and wedges. Electronic and digital autocollimators are used as angle measurement standards, for monitoring angular movement over long periods of time and for checking angular position repeatability in mechanical systems. Servo autocollimators are specialized compact forms of electronic autocollimators that are used in high-speed servo-feedback loops for stable-platform applications. An electronic autocollimator is typically calibrated to read the actual mirror angle.

Electronic Autocollimator

The electronic autocollimator is a high precision angle measurement instrument capable of measuring angular deviations with accuracy down to fractions of an arc-second, by electronic means only, with no optical eye-piece.

EAC-1012
EAC-1012

Measuring with an electronic autocollimator is fast, easy, accurate, and will frequently be the most cost effective procedure. Used extensively in workshops, tool rooms, inspection departments and quality control laboratories worldwide, these highly sensitive instruments will measure extremely small angular displacements, squareness, twist and parallelism.

Laser Analyzing Autocollimator

Today, a new technology allows to improve the Autocollimation instrument to allow direct measurements of incoming laser beams. This new capability opens a gate of inter-alignment between optics, mirrors and lasers. This technology fusion between a century-old technology of Autocollimation with recent laser technology offers a very versatile instrument capable of measurement of inter-alignment between multiple line of sights, laser in respect to mechanical datum, alignment of laser cavity, measurement of multiple rollers parallelism in roll to roll machinery, laser divergence angle and its spatial stability and many more inter-alignment applications.

Hybrid Autocollimator

The concept of autocollimation as an optical instrument was conceived about a century ago for accurate, non-contact measurements of angles. Since it was invented, it has developed a long history of being used in the alignment of angles and optical elements. Recent novel photonics development has created a need for alignment and measurement of optics and lasers – the new hybrid technology does exactly that. Moreover, implementing advanced technologies of motorized focusing offers yet another measurement dimension, by focusing on the area to be examined and perform alignment and deviations from alignment measured in microns. This multi-function hybrid optical instrument will allow measurements of integrated systems in the adjustment phase as well as in the final testing and examination. Hybrid technologies have the potential of satisfying the requirements of several technologies, such as alignment, the spatial characterization of lasers and beam profiling of multiple single emitters. This analysis process provides the angle-dependent spatial resolution patterns of light sources in respect to a mechanical datum plane, an adequate solution for the accurate and fast testing of VCSEL lasers. This specific application is given as an example due to the growth of VCSEL arrays applications, but many other intricate measurements involving lasers, mechanics, optical alignment and other technologies will become more generally available and relevant using this new technology. Hybrid technologies have the potential of satisfying the requirements of several technologies, such as alignment, the spatial characterization of lasers and beam profiling of multiple single emitters. This analysis process provides the angle-dependent spatial resolution patterns of light sources in respect to a mechanical datum plane, an adequate solution for the accurate and fast testing of VCSEL lasers.


3D Screenshot from the hybrid autocollimator analyzing software representing the VCSEL and their relative power levels
3D Screenshot from the hybrid autocollimator analyzing software representing the VCSEL and their relative power levels

Typical Applications

An Electronic Autocollimator is seldom used in the measurement of straightness of machine components (like guide ways) or the straightness of lines of motion of machine components. Flatness measurement is usually performed by measuring straightness of multiple lines along the flat surface. By correlation, it is possible to determine the flatness error of the plane. Recent advancements in applications allow angular orientation measurement of wafers. This could also be done without obstructing line of sights to the wafer's surface itself. It is applicable in wafer measuring machines and wafer processing machines. Other applications include:

  • Aircraft assembly jigs
  • Satellite testing
  • Steam and gas turbines
  • Marine propulsion machinery
  • Printing presses
  • Air compressors
  • Cranes
  • Diesel engines
  • Nuclear reactors
  • Coal conveyors
  • Shipbuilding and repair
  • Rolling mills
  • Rod and wire mills
  • Extruder barrels

Optical measurement Applications:

  • Retro reflector Measurement
  • Roof prism Measurement
  • Optical assembly procedures
  • Alignment of beam delivery systems
  • Alignment of laser cavity
  • Testing perpendicularity of laser rods in respect to its axis
  • Real time measurement of angular stability of mirror elements.


See also

References

  • Lowell, Tom. "Small Angles and Autocollimators". Vermont Photonics. Retrieved 7 May 2006.
  • Morel, Jerrat. "Principles of Operation". Micro-Radian Instruments. Archived from the original on 7 May 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2007.
  • Aharon, Oren. "Metrology system for inter-alignment of lasers, telescopes, and mechanical datum". Duma Optronics. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  • Aharon, Oren. "Telescopic Analyzing System Tests Laser Collimation and Propagation". Duma Optronics. Archived from the original on 5 June 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  • Aharon, Oren. "Laser Autocollimator and Bore Sighting". Duma Optronics. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  • O. Aharon and I. Vishnia. "The Hybrid Autocollimator". Photonics Views. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
This page was last edited on 20 July 2021, at 17:03
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