We analyze the three most common profiles of scanning functions for galvanometer-based scanners (GSs): the sawtooth, triangular and sinusoidal functions. They are determined experimentally with regard to the scan parameters of the input signal (i.e., frequency and amplitude). We study the differences of the output function of the GS measured as the positional error of the oscillatory mirror from the ideal function given by the input signal of the device. The limits in achieving the different types of scanning functions in terms of duty cycle and linearity are determined experimentally for the possible range of scan parameters. Of particular importance are the preservation of an imposed duty cycle and profile for the sawtooth function, the quantification of the linearity for the sinusoidal function, and the effective duty cycle for the triangular, as well as for the other functions. The range of scan amplitudes for which the stability of the oscillatory regime of the galvo mirror is stable for different frequencies is also highlighted. While the use of the device in certain scanning regimes is studied, certain rules of thumb are deduced to make the best out of the galvoscanner. Finally, the three types of scanning functions are tested with a Fourier domain optical coherence tomography (FD OCT) setup and the conclusions of the study are demonstrated in an imaging application by correlating the determined limits of the scanning regimes with the requirements of OCT.
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