Kinematic Applications for Optical and Laser systems
Optical systems are particularly sensitive to geometrical alignment, and can benefit greatly from the advantages offered by kinematic mounts:
Optical bed stability: Any stress on an optical bed causes misalignment. Our 3-legged and 4-legged kinematic mounts guarantee that even if the enclosure or foundation warps, your optical bed will remain planar.
A customer once told us: "There are a hundred reasons why the beam output of a laser might degrade. We used to design out own kinematic mounts, but ever since we started using your kinematic mounts, mechanical stress if officially off that list, and we're not going back."
- Field-servicable optics and uptime: There are many situations where optical elements need to be replaced, during either scheduled or unscheduled maintenance. With proper use of kinematic mounts, no re-alignment is required after the replacement, and so the procedure can be completed faster, require less skill on the part of the technician, decreasing your MTTR.
- Interchangeable subsystems: During development, it is common to have to swap different optical subsystems in and out of an optical path - either to compare the subsystems to each other, or to perform measurements. Proper use of a kinematic mount can make these swaps completely worry free.
- Thermal stability: When temperature changes, materials expand and contract. With an over-constrained connection, this results in stick-slip behavior, as load is transferred abruptly from one constraint to another. Kinematic mounts are much better-behaved in this respect, showing a repeatable, predicatable, continuous response. Further, in some situation, the symmetry of the kinematic mount can be relied upon to provide a non-moving region that is oblivious to changes in temperature.
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