Quanser’s deep understanding of real-time control, and how it applies to sophisticated mechatronic systems, was of key significance to this project. After trouble-shooting Alcon’s laser module, Quanser was able to use WinCon*, its real-time control software, to immediately understand the problem and identify an effective path towards resolving the challenge.
Quanser designed an advanced control scheme to send command signals to the device that moves and controls the mirror, and send signals back to controller in order to change commands. In order to achieve the tight specifications required for this system, a high performance, high resolution amplifier was needed to amplify the digital signal. Quanser utilized its Linear Current Amplifier Module (LCAM), which eliminates dead-band and reduces noise issues that are common in PWM amplifiers. Quanser’s open architecture solution allowed for custom adjustments as required.
Part of the reason Quanser arrives at solutions so quickly is a willingness to put its in-house experts into one-on-one consultation with clients to fully understand and resolve their needs. Quanser collaborated very closely with Alcon to adapt the existing LCAM design and provide a control scheme that they were able to implement within their system.
Using WinCon, the team was able to calculate the motion control parameters based upon the specifications for the laser beam’s target move and settle time. A control strategy was conceptualized to improve the performance of the voice coil-actuated laser guidance stage that positions the scan mirror which, in turn, reflects the laser beam to the target.
WinCon was then utilized again to rapidly prototype the controller necessary to position the scan mirror at the high rate of 60Hz while maintaining the high positioning and performance specifications. With so many variables at play and under a compressed timeline, traditional methods of controller development would have added significant cost and time to the process, while providing poorer and inflexible final results. Within weeks, a final linear current amplifier was supplied along with an open-architecture controller to use as a design validation tool.