Flexure-based alignment mechanisms : design, development and application

N. Lee, van der, J.P. Kappelhof, R.F.M.M. Hamelinck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
2590 Downloads (Pure)


For high accuracy alignment of optical components in optical instruments TNO TPD has developed dedicated,monolithic, flexure-based alignment mechanisms, which provide accuracies below 0.1 µm and 0.1 µrad as well asstabilities down to subnanometer stabilty per minute.High resolution, high stability alignment mechanisms consist of an adjustment mechanism and a locking device.Complex monolithic flexure-based mechanisms were designed to align specific degrees of freedom. They are realizedby means of spark erosion. The benefits of these mechanisms are no play, no hysteresis, high stiffness, a simplifiedthermal design and easy assemblage. The overall system can remain a passive system, which yields simplicity.An actuator is used for positioning. Locking after alignment is mandatory to guarantee sub-nanometer stability perminute. A proper design of the locking device is important to minimize drift during locking.The dedicated alignment mechanisms presented here are based on: (a) the results of an internal ongoing researchprogram on alignment and locking and (b) experience with mechanisms developed at TNO TPD for high precisionoptical instruments, which are used in e.g. a white light interferometer breadboard (Nulling) and an interferometer withpicometer resolution for ESA’s future cornerstone missions "DARWIN" and "GAIA".
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptomechanics 2003, 7 - 8 August 2003, San Diego, California, USA
EditorsA.E. Hatheway
Place of PublicationBellingham
ISBN (Print)0819450499
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Eventconference; Optomechanics 2003 -
Duration: 1 Jan 2003 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


Conferenceconference; Optomechanics 2003
Period1/01/03 → …
OtherOptomechanics 2003


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