12/19/2006 • Sensor Technology

Innovation: Confocal displacement measurement in a miniature design

The confocal measurement systems from Micro-Epsilon are being extended with the optoNCDT2402 Series. The non-contacting technique is based on the confocal chromatic principle.

It is used to measure displacements and distances accurate to the nanometer. The new series offers the advantages of confocal measurement in a miniaturized design. To achieve this, white light is used which passes from the evaluation unit via an optical fiber to the sensor where it is split by a lens system and is then focused on the measurement object. Here, different light spectra are reflected according to the longitudinal aberration of the light and depending on the distance. The wavelengths arriving at the sensor are passed via an optical fiber coupler to the receiving optical system in the evaluation unit. During the calibration carried out by the company, each color spectrum is assigned a defined distance, enabling the profile of the surface of the measurement object to be reconstructed. The various color spectra only differ by a few nanometers. Since the receiving optical system from Micro-Epsilon can differentiate between the spectra very accurately, a very high resolution is produced.

In contrast to conventional confocal sensors, this sensor has a diameter of only 4 mm which also facilitates measurements in confined cavities. With the optional 90° beam deflection there is also the possibility of acquiring the wall structure of narrow drilled holes.

Because light can be transported without loss over optical fibers, distances of up to 50 m can be bridged between the evaluation unit and the optical system. This allows the sensor to be used in areas subject to explosion hazards, in a vacuum or in strong electromagnetic fields. Due to the quoted specifications and its titanium housing, it is very suitable for automated production processes in the semiconductor, chemical or medical fields.

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Micro-Epsilon Messtechnik GmbH & Co. KG

Königbacher Strasse 15
94496 Ortenburg

Phone: +49 (0) 8542/ 168- 0
Fax: +49 (0) 8542/ 168-90