EC: Ensemble QLAB Piezo motion controller
Motion Control: The Ensemble QLAB is a high-performance nanopositioning piezo stage controller for 1 to 4 axes of motion that allows user-configurable open-loop and closed-loop operation on a per axis basis. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
The Ensemble QLAB is a high-performance nanopositioning piezo stage controller for 1 to 4 axes of motion. The flexible controller platform allows user-configurable open-loop and closed-loop operation on a per axis basis. Using the processing power of a dual-core 456 MHz, double precision, floating-point DSP, the QLAB provides exceptional performance. The front panel interface allows an operator to quickly execute simple operations such as jogging and moving to fixed positions. For more complex operations, onboard memory stores programs that can be accessed from the front panel or through remote control. Using the latest technology and high-resolution A/D and D/A converters, QLAB enables sub-nanometer positioning resolution at high bandwidths. With the optional integrated capacitance sensor, QLAB provides low noise performance over the full travel range. In closed-loop mode, linearity better than 0.01% over the full travel range is achieved using a proprietary linearization scheme. The Ensemble QLAB uses PID servo loops with advanced feedforward and multiple integrators coupled with eight programmable filters to supply the user with all necessary tools needed to optimize motion performance. Additional software options such as the Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Motion Designer packages make available a host of advanced, yet easy-to-use tools such as Learning Control, Harmonic Cancellation, Command Shaping, and Cross-Axis Feedforward to improve tracking errors and provide faster step-and-settle times. An intuitive tabbed interface provides single-press access to all setup and operation screens. Up to four programs can run simultaneously, allowing for easy partitioning of complex operations. One task could be used for motion while the remaining tasks are used for process control, or the controller could be configured to operate four separate programs controlling four piezo stages. The Ensemble QLAB includes full compatibility with both EPICS and TANGO distributed control protocols. In addition, a suite of LabVIEW VIs are available.