Prototype Small Footprint Amplifier for Piezoelectric Deformable Mirrors


Kris Caputa*, Glen Herriot*, Joel Niebergal** and Adam Zielinski**


* NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics ** University of Victoria dept ECE


AO subsystems of the ELT observatories will incorporate deformable mirrors with an order of magnitude larger number of piezoelectric actuators than the AO systems currently deployed. Simply scaling up the drive electronics that are presently available commercially would substantially drive up the AO cost, pose unacceptably high demands for the supply power and heat dissipation, and occupy large physical volume. We have set out to prototype a high voltage amplifier that is compact enough to allow packaging 100 amplifier channels on a single 6U Eurocard with the goal to have a DM drive channel density of 1200 per 6U VME crate. Individual amplifier circuits should be driven by a multichannel A/D converter, consume no more than 0.5W from the +/-400V power supply, be slew rate limited in hardware, and be short-circuit protected. The component cost should be an order of magnitude less than the integrated circuit high voltage amplifiers currently on the market. We started out with modeling candidate circuits in SPICE, then built physical prototypes using inexpensive off the shelf components. In this paper we present experimental results of exposing several prototype circuits to both normal operating conditions and foreseeable fault conditions. The performance is evaluated against the AO requirements for the output range and bandwidth and the DM actuator safety requirements.

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