Abstract

Modern computer-controlled manufacturing machinery requires the absolute and highly accurate measurement of the linear position. Such an absolute, optical linear position encoder is described here. It is based on the transilluminance of a glass scale with an inexpensive light-emitting diode. The scale has two code tracks, one based on a pseudo-random binary sequence for the coarse determination of position and another periodic code for accurate fine-position measurement. A single-lens telecentric optical system images the code tracks in a mechanically insensitive way onto a custom photodetector. This special detector IC is capable of determining the components of the (complex) Fourier transform for the spatial frequency of the periodic code. The absolute optical position encoder shows a resolution of 10 nm and an absolute accuracy of better than 100 nm over short distances, verified with a commercial laser interferometer.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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