Optical mount modifications for increased articulation at the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer

James H. Clark, Joshua P. Walton, F. Ernesto Penado, Denver Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Reconfigurations of the original optical mounts are required to facilitate the expanding capabilities and diverse science programs at the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer. The mounts of current interest are tangent-arm gimbaled mounts located in vacuum chambers, remotely controlled, and precisely aligned through a narrow range of motion. In order to achieve the desired large changes in pathway reflections, the articulated range of the mount was increased from 4 to 45 degrees in elevation and from 4 to 90 degrees in azimuth. This increase was achieved on the elevation axis by fashioning and attaching a worm gear device, and a direct-drive type mechanism was used on the azimuth axis. The original alignment resolution and stability were preserved by retaining the high precision tangent-arm actuators. In this paper, we present the design modifications that achieved the form, fit, and function required for remote-controlled reconfiguration and alignment. The mechanical modifications, modes of operation, test results, and reconfigurations are described in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNew Developments in Optomechanics
StatePublished - 2007
EventNew Developments in Optomechanics - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 28 2007Aug 30 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherNew Developments in Optomechanics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • NPOI
  • Optical interferometry
  • Optical mount
  • Precision alignment
  • Remote control
  • Vacuum system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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