Motor Controls

Motor Controls Screenshot The main tuning software for our systems. It provides automated tuning to a specified wavelength/wavenumber as well as individual control of the optical elements. Many of our customers use LabVIEW™ for their experiments, and the external communication options in Motor Controls allow for existing experiment software to control the system over TCP/UDP and RS-232.

Previously known as MDRIVE, the software was rewritten in 2010 to be work with Windows XP SP2 and higher and is now called Motor Controls. If you are interested in upgrading your system please contact us for assistance.


Precise Motor Control

Motor Settings

There are two fitting types supported by the program: 9ᵗʰ order polynomial and cubic spline.

External Project Integration

LabVIEW Sample

The system can be controlled externally over RS-232 or Ethernet using a library of 14 commands. A sample LabVIEW™ program is provided that demonstrates Ethernet communications with Motor Controls. An Ethernet communications program, MotorSendCmd.exe, is included and can be immediately integrated into any control software or used on its own to test Ethernet communications. The source code for MotorSendCmd.exe is provided in the .c file of the same name and can be used to achieve a more seamless integration into an external control program.

Power Meter Integration

Motor Calibration

When used with a USB voltmeter from Digital-Measure the program can interface with the analog output from a laser power meter. This allows power data to be viewed and recorded within the program, and more importantly to be associated with the Near-IR output wavelength and motor positions. There are two views for visualizing data: the first is analogous to a chart recorder, the second is a calibration assistant. Data collected in both views is identical and the files generated can be viewed in both. Data is saved as a CSV (comma-separated values) file and can be visualized using the software or in any number of graphing programs.

Etalon Adjust

Etalon Adjust Screenshot

Note: The Etalon Adjust software is an optional component useful for only a small number of our systems and may not be present in your version.

Etalon Adjust uses etalon interference images to automate either adjustment of the OPO/OPA’s main cavity length to maintain single-mode laser operation, or narrow the line-width of unseeded output, depending on the system. In single-mode systems the adjustment is accomplished using a piezo actuator; for unseeded systems a motor is used.

In an etalon image there are two classes of rings: main rings which represent the predominant transverse mode and fringe rings which represent the contribution of other less dominant modes. To determine the appropriate adjustment a rectangular portion of the etalon image is selected where the curvature of the rings is negligible. The pixels in this region are then summed by column and that with the greatest sum is taken to represent a main ring. The region is then examined for fringe rings and an adjustment is made based on the relative fringe intensities with the goal of either eliminating the fringe rings or equalizing their intensities.

Software Documentation

Motor Controls documentation is available in HTML form.

Version History

The following is a list of program versions and a description of the major change between each. Many releases fix minor bugs or include small code improvements. For a complete list of changes please see the release notes.