Ensemble QLe

Aerotech’s new Ensemble QLe panel-mount nanopositioning piezo drive is designed for use with the Ensemble family of drives and controllers. The QLe connects to any Ensemble controller network enabling coordinated motion between piezo stages and servo axes at much higher rates than other controller or drive products. It is ideal for applications ranging from demanding scientific research to advanced OEM machine systems.

Featuring a dual-core 456MHz, double-precision, floating-point DSP, the QLe drives provide extreme processing power over a wide variety of applications including point-to-point motion, linear and circular interpolation, multi-axis error correction, and autofocusing. High-speed interrupts and data logging capabilities provide a real-time link to external systems. The QLe also offers high-speed position latching capability and multi-axis position synchronised output (PSO) for generation of pulses based on actual position feedback in applications ranging from laser firing to data acquisition system triggering.

Using the latest technology and high-resolution A/D and D/A converters, the QLe enables sub-nanometre positioning resolution at high bandwidths. Capacitive sensor feedback circuitry provides ultra-low noise performance over the full travel range with good thermal stability and long-term holding stability. Linearity is better than 0.01 per cent over the full travel range in closed-loop mode.

In addition to the four optically-isolated digital inputs, two high-speed digital inputs, and four optically-isolated digital outputs, the Ensemble QLe is equipped with analogue inputs and outputs. For precise applications, the QLe offers an 18-bit analogue input that can be configured to accept an external feedback sensor or position command. This analogue input also allows the high-voltage power amplifier to be controlled directly by an external low-level analogue input. Also, the QLe has one 20-bit analogue output that can be configured for position or voltage monitoring at high resolutions.

Ensemble software uses advanced PID servo loops with feedforward and multiple integrators coupled with eight programmable filters to supply the user with all necessary tools needed to optimise motion performance. Additional software options such as Aerotech’s Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Motion Designer packages make available a host of tools that can improve tracking errors and provide faster step-and-settle times. These tools include Learning Control, Harmonic Cancellation, Command Shaping, and Cross-Axis Feedforward.


By Dave MacLellan, Executive Director, AILU


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