Voice-coil array development for a deformable mirror

Ryan Luder, Michael Hart, Krysta Pavlica, Olivia Fehlberg

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Voice-coil actuators are an attractive choice for deformable mirror (DM) drivers given their inherently large stroke and relatively low cost scaling. In this paper, we describe the construction of a prototype DM composed of seven actuators mounted behind a deformable face sheet. For the electro-mechanical tests reported here, an aluminum face sheet has been used. In future this will be replaced by glass. The control system for the voice coils involves an EtherCAT framework, which paired with Ingenia motion controllers allows for kHz operation rates. The intent in this project is to perform correction without the need for position sensors on the mirror, requiring low hysteresis effects in the motion of the coils. To this end, a 3D printed flexure was designed to reduce frictional effects on the coils’ motion, as well as set a constant zero-current position. The position of the coils as a function of force input is characterized using capacitive sensor measurements, with an analysis of residual hysteresis and noise. The current status of the project as well as its viability for scaling to larger actuator counts and mirrors is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2019
Event6th International Conference on Adaptive Optics for Extremely Large Telescopes, AO4ELT 2019 - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: Jun 9 2019Jun 14 2019


Conference6th International Conference on Adaptive Optics for Extremely Large Telescopes, AO4ELT 2019
CityQuebec City


  • Adaptive optics
  • Deformable mirrors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Instrumentation


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