Despite a storied history of innovation in optical alignment, multi-channel active alignment is the first true leap forward in terms of manufacturing technology in three decades. While there have been numerous advancements in the field, each of these has conformed to the same basic principles: an alignment of one element or DOF is performed, then a small improvement in another element or DOF is attempted, requiring a re-optimization of the first item. This loop is then repeated, often dozens or hundreds of time— a very time-consuming and therefore, costly process. PI’s Fast Multi-channel Photonic Alignment technology leapfrogs this legacy approach by deploying intelligent parallel alignment algorithms within the firmware of the motion controllers. Upon command, these algorithms perform precision and often nanoscale motions to measure the contribution of each element’s misalignment in each DOF simultaneously and in parallel. The controllers autonomously adjust the elements until they reach the optimal position and orientation. Thus, one-step parallel optimization can replace the time-consuming loop formerly required.
There are myriad benefits to multi-channel optical active alignment.