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Unpacking deformable Mirror Mirao52e: first impressions


from Imagine Optic is probably one of the best known high-stroke deformable mirrors (DMs), a working horse in adaptive optics. It has 52 actuators, huge stroke (up to +/- 50 microns peak-to-value), and a hefty 15-mm clear aperture of usable mirror surface. All things look good, at a price tag of about 20K euro. After some hesitation and comparing specs/price with Alpao mirrors, I eventually chose Mirao52e for my adaptive optics project.

It is too early to speak of performance, I will do optical tests later. Today I can only share my first impressions.

  1. Small form factor: 64x64x17.6 mm, easy to integrate if your space is tight
  2. Very easy installation (Windows 7), basically installation of USB-serial port drivers 

  1. Mounting options are weird. There are two M3 tapped holes on each side, 20 mm apart. Does not fit any Thorlabs mount I know - they normally use M4 screws and 25-mm space between. No adapter included :(
  2. Where are LabView drivers which are industry standard for many years? Only a dll file and single Visual C/C++ library. They gotta be kidding me, such bare-bone API for a 20+K research apparatus. A full-scale API collection WaveKit in LabView/Matlab/C++ is offered for extra cost. Not cool.
  3. The cable attached to the mirror is humongous! It is 10 mm thick and stiff as a horsewhip. This is bad, because DM will be installed on a Thorlabs kinematic mount, which is a delicate mechanical piece, and it will likely drift because of residual stiffness of this huge cable. Should I call Imagine Optics engineers and break out in tears?
Update: I did some homework and wrapped the driver file mirao52e.dll in LabView code, so it can (and should!) be used in LabView:
Will I get a paycheck from @ImagineOptic? :-)

Update 21.10.2017. Open and closed-loop control code for this mirror in Python here.


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