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Micromotors for optics and photonics

There are many scenarios in which precise vision is essential — from precise shots of sporting events, scientific exploration, microbial investigation or even search and rescue operations. In each of these situations, tools like microscopes, telescopes and femtosecond lasers are essential tools that require micromotors to ensure the precise positioning of optical components.

EMS is the sole distributor of FAULHABER’s micromotors to the UK and Ireland. The FAULHABER range of motors and drives are designed with optical applications in mind, offering the highest precision and reliability at a low weight and long operational lifetime. The high dynamic positioning allows for unparalleled alignment and orientation movements for a range of applications. Learn more about some of the applications of the FAULHABER micromotor range in optics and photonics here.

Laser alignment

Laser pulses last just one billionth of a second, offering sufficient precision to perform activities such as eye surgery. In such applications, micromotors are responsible for moving the prisms, filters and mirrors inside a femtosecond laser to such a high degree of precision.

Similar applications exist in other surgeries, where the material hit by the high-energy laser pulses is converted into a gas and extracted, allowing for the precise removal of fine layers with no residue. Applications include microsurgery, medical technology, chemical analysis and forgery-proof micro marking.

FAULHABER stepper motors are commonly used in femtosecond laser applications. The precise and repeatable nature of stepper motors allow systems to position optical components and align them exactly even in an open loop configuration.

Infrared optics and night-vision equipment

Thermal imaging cameras are used in search and rescue operations, control inspections in construction and a range of military applications. To view infrared light in the visible human spectrum, it’s essential to capture the incoming signal using optical components, transmit it to an opto-electronic system, which in turn converts the signal into visible light pulses.

For these applications, FAULHABER DC motors with precious metal commutation are essential to adjusting the lenses for focusing, zooming, positioning filters and activating shutters. There is also a wide range of complementary gearheads, encoders and other accessories to tailor the motor to the precision required for each application.


Camera motion control

Capturing sports events and film recordings requires cameras mounted at the end of a boom to achieve highly precise shots at the perfect angle and to quickly focus in on shots.

For nature documentaries, crane setups are often used to capture clear footage. In these scenarios, it’s sometimes necessary to quickly track and refocus on the animal, and therefore to ensure the frame is secure and clear. Electric DC micromotors are used to initiate smooth, yet quick movement to ensure seamless footage and the even application of high dynamic power.


Microscopes and telescopes

Telescopes and microscopes are used to see things that humans cannot see with the naked eye — whether it’s the smallest object in the world, or a star millions of lightyears away.

While each of these applications differs in its target objects, the technology behind them is similar, and both require high precision to adjust the optical elements and ensure a high-quality image. For example, stepper motors can be used to align the optical fibres, achieve positional repeatability and offer a long service life.


Case studies

The MOONS telescope project

The MOONS telescope project works to understand what is happening at in the denser, centre of the Milky Way galaxy. As part of the project, some of the world’s most powerful telescopes are required to capture optical signals from space.

One of the most challenging tasks that forms part of the MOONS project was the aim to build a digitalised GPS navigation system of the galaxy, for which sheer precision is essential. Learn more about EMS’ role in the development of the solution by reading the full case study here.

With more than 30 years of experience supplying the market across the UK and Ireland, EMS can advise on the optimal micromotor for your optical application. To discuss your requirements, get in touch with a member of the team today.


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