Rack System NanoTrak® Active Auto-Alignment Module


  • Advanced Active Alignment
  • High-Voltage Piezo Output Channels for Precise Positioning
  • IR (InGaAs) Detector Included
  • Visible (Si) Detector Available Separately

MNA601/IR

Rack Module

Application Idea

MNA601/IR Module in MMR601 Rack (Back View)

Full Suite of Software Support Tools Included

Related Items


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Applications

  • Fiber-to-Fiber Active Alignment
  • Fiber-to-Free-Space Active Alignment
  • Optical Device Alignment
  • Waveguide Characterization
  • Fiber Characterization and Testing
  • Fiber Pigtailing of Active and Passive Devices
  • Maintain High Power Throughput to an Entire Optical Setup
Rack System Motion Control Modules
2-Channel Piezo Control Module
2-Channel Stepper Motor Control Module
2-Channel NanoTrak® Auto-Alignment Module
USB Motion Control 19" Rack Chassis
All Thorlabs Rack System Modules require the use of the MMR601 Rack System Enclosure. Independent operation of the modules outside the enclosure is not possible.

Features

  • Active Alignment System with Advanced Light Search Algorithm
  • Tracking Feature Maintains Optimum Throughput Indefinitely
  • Latch Mode to Maintain Alignment Stability over Time
  • MNA601/IR Module Provides 2-Axis Control
  • MMR601 and MMR602 Rack Systems Hold up to 6 Modules
  • Two Piezo Actuator Output Channels Provide Closed-Loop Feedback
  • IR (InGaAs) Detector & SMB Connector for External Diodes Included
  • Visible (Si) Detector Available Separately
  • Full Software GUI Control Suite and Support for Third-Party Custom Applications

The modular NanoTrak Auto-Alignment Controller is designed to maximize the power throughput of a fiber-to-fiber or fiber-to-free-space system. By driving a piezo-actuated stage to move the fiber tip in a circular scan pattern, the controller performs a power gradient search to determine the direction of peak power and positions the fiber for maximum throughput. Two high-voltage output channels provide the drive signal for the associated piezo actuators, eliminating the need for external piezo drivers. In combination with a multi-axis, piezo-driven stage, such as our 3-Axis NanoMax and 6-Axis NanoMax stages, a fiber alignment controller creates a complete auto-alignment system. It can be fully integrated into a rack system that is comprised of a selection of our plug-ins: piezoelectric controllers, stepper motor controllers, and this NanoTrak autoalignment module.

USB connectivity provides easy 'Plug-and-Play' PC-controlled operation with the Kinesis® software package, which features new .NET controls that can be used by third-party developers working in the latest C, C#, LabVIEW™ or any .NET compatible languages to create custom applications. For more details, please see the Motion Control Software, Kinesis Tutorials, and APT Tutorials tabs.

The initial coupling of light from one device (e.g. fiber) to another involves searching a multidimensional space until a signal is detected. The NanoTrak support software offers a series of motor search algorithms for this first light detection. Although used primarily for aligning optical fibers and integrated optical devices, the NanoTrak is ideal for automating just about any labor intensive alignment tasks such as waveguide characterization, fiber pigtailing of active and passive devices, as well as a multitude of other R&D applications.

The NanoTrak module is supplied with an InGaAs detector (item # NTA007) for infrared (900 - 1700 nm) wavelengths and a PIN diode SMB input for use with external detector heads. A Si detector (item # NTA009) for visible (320 - 1100 nm) wavelengths is available separately as detailed below.

Cabling
Cables for connecting actuators or stages to the controller are shipped with the actuators or stages, not the controller. If you need help identifying the appropriate replacement cable, please contact Tech Support.

NanoTrak® Automated Fiber Alignment Controllers
K-Cube™ 2-Channel Controllers Benchtop 2-Channel Controller Modular 2-Channel Rack System Module

Module Specifications

Signal Measurement
PIN Photodiode
Mechanical ConnectorSMB Male
Photocurrent Range1 nA to 10 mA
Optical ConnectorFC/PC
NanoTraking
Circle Scanning Frequency1 to 300 Hz
Circle Position Range<1% to >99% MPE
Circle Diameter Adj. ModesAutomatic and Manual
Signal Phase Compensation±180°
Piezoelectric Input/Output
Number of Piezo Channels2
HV Output Connectors
Connector TypeSMC Male
Voltage Output0 to 75 VDC/Channel
Voltage Stability100 ppm over 24 Hours
Noise<3 mV (RMS)
Output Current500 mA/Channel
Analog Output Monitors
Connector TypeBNC
Voltage Range0 to 10 VDC
Strain Gauge Position Feedback
Connector Type9-Pin D-Type Female
Feedback TypeAC
Other Input/Output
Optical Power Monitor
Connector TypeBNC
Voltage Range0 to 10 VDC
Ext Signal In Input
Connector TypeBNC
Voltage Range0 to 10 VDC
User Control
Connector Type26-Pin HD D-Type Female
Isolated Digital Inputs4 off TTL
Isolated Digital Outputs4 off TTL
Trigger Input1 off TTL
Trigger Output1 off TTL
Potentiometer Channel Ctrl Input1-10 k (Each Channel)
Analog Channel Output Monitors0 to 10 VDC (Each Channel)
General
Dimensions (W x D x H)190 mm x 270 mm x 50 mm
Weight1.5 kg (3.3 lbs)

Optical Detector Specfications

Item #NTA007NTA009
Detector TypeInGaAsSi
Operating Wavelength900 - 1700 nm320 - 1000 nm
Active AreaFiber InputFiber Input
Rise Time100 ps @ 12 V100 ps @ 12 V
NEP4.5 x 10-15 W/√Hz1.5 x 10-15 W/√Hz
Dark Current0.05 nA @ 5 V0.01 nA @ 10 V

NanoTrak® Controller

D-type Female

DB26 Female

Pin Description Return Pin Description Return Pin Description Return
1 DIG I/P 1a 19 10 DIG O/P 1a 19 19 Isolated Groundb -
2 DIG I/P 2a 19 11 DIG O/P 2a 19 20 Ext Trigger I/P 22
3 DIG I/P 3a 19 12 DIG O/P 3a 19 21 Ext Trigger O/P 22
4 DIG I/P 4a 19 13 DIG O/P 4a 19 22 Ground -
5 Channel 1 RS485 (+) - 14 Channel 2 RS485 (+) - 23 5 V User O/P (Isolated) -
6 Channel 1 RS485 (-) - 15 Channel 2 RS485 (+) - 24 Not Used -
7 Not Used - 16 Not Used - 25 Analog Ground -
8 Channel 2 10 V O/Pc 25 17 External Analog I/P CH2 0 - 10 V 25 26 Signal Power Outd 25
9 Channel 1 10 V O/Pc 25 18 External Analog I/P CH1 0 - 10 V 25
  • Opto-isolated, TTL level signal
  • For use with digital signals
  • For use with external signal monitoring equipment
  • For use with dual NanoTrak® applications

Piezo Controller

D-type Female

DB9 Female

Pin Description Return Pin Description Return Pin Description Return
1 Wheatstone Bridge Excitation 4 or 6 4 D.C.(+) or Equipment Grounda - 7 D.C.(-) or Actuator ID Signala,b 4 or 6
2 +15Vc 4 or 6 5 Feedback Signal In 4 or 6 8 RS485 (-) 9
3 -15Vc 4 or 6 6 Equiptment Ground - 9 RS485 (+) 8
  • Software switchable signal for strain gauge or D.C. feedback
  • This signal is applicable only to Thorlabs actuators. It enables the system to identify the piezo extension associated with the actuator
  • Power supply for the piezo actuator feedback circuit. It must not be used to drive any other circuits or devices

LV Out

BNC Female

BNC Female

0 to +10V. This output is mirrors HV OUT, 10V being equivalent to 75V on the HV outputs, and can be connected to an oscilloscope to enable the drive signal of the piezo actuator to be monitored.

HV Out

SMC

SMC

0 to 75V, 0 to 500mA. Provides the drive signal to the piezo actuator.

Signal In

BNC Female

BNC Female

0 to 10V, 100kΩ load. Used to receive a signal of optical power from an external power meter.

Thorlabs offers two platforms to drive our wide range of motion controllers: our Kinesis® software package or the legacy APT™ (Advanced Positioning Technology) software package. Either package can be used to control devices in the Kinesis family, which covers a wide range of motion controllers ranging from small, low-powered, single-channel drivers (such as the K-Cubes™ and T-Cubes™) to high-power, multi-channel, modular 19" rack nanopositioning systems (the APT Rack System).

The Kinesis Software features .NET controls which can be used by 3rd party developers working in the latest C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any .NET compatible languages to create custom applications. Low-level DLL libraries are included for applications not expected to use the .NET framework. A Central Sequence Manager supports integration and synchronization of all Thorlabs motion control hardware.

Kinesis Software
Kinesis GUI Screen
APT Software
APT GUI Screen

Our legacy APT System Software platform offers ActiveX-based controls which can be used by 3rd party developers working on C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any Active-X compatible languages to create custom applications and includes a simulator mode to assist in developing custom applications without requiring hardware.

By providing these common software platforms, Thorlabs has ensured that users can easily mix and match any of the Kinesis and APT controllers in a single application, while only having to learn a single set of software tools. In this way, it is perfectly feasible to combine any of the controllers from single-axis to multi-axis systems and control all from a single, PC-based unified software interface.

The software packages allow two methods of usage: graphical user interface (GUI) utilities for direct interaction with and control of the controllers 'out of the box', and a set of programming interfaces that allow custom-integrated positioning and alignment solutions to be easily programmed in the development language of choice.

A range of video tutorials is available to help explain our APT system software. These tutorials provide an overview of the software and the APT Config utility. Additionally, a tutorial video is available to explain how to select simulator mode within the software, which allows the user to experiment with the software without a controller connected. Please select the APT Tutorials tab above to view these videos.

Software

Kinesis Version 1.14.30

The Kinesis Software Package, which includes a GUI for control of Thorlabs' Kinesis and APT™ system controllers.

Also Available:

  • Communications Protocol
Software Download

Software

APT Version 3.21.5

The APT Software Package, which includes a GUI for control of Thorlabs' APT™ and Kinesis system controllers.

Also Available:

  • Communications Protocol
Software Download

Thorlabs' Kinesis® software features new .NET controls which can be used by third-party developers working in the latest C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any .NET compatible languages to create custom applications.

C#
This programming language is designed to allow multiple programming paradigms, or languages, to be used, thus allowing for complex problems to be solved in an easy or efficient manner. It encompasses typing, imperative, declarative, functional, generic, object-oriented, and component-oriented programming. By providing functionality with this common software platform, Thorlabs has ensured that users can easily mix and match any of the Kinesis controllers in a single application, while only having to learn a single set of software tools. In this way, it is perfectly feasible to combine any of the controllers from the low-powered, single-axis to the high-powered, multi-axis systems and control all from a single, PC-based unified software interface.

The Kinesis System Software allows two methods of usage: graphical user interface (GUI) utilities for direct interaction and control of the controllers 'out of the box', and a set of programming interfaces that allow custom-integrated positioning and alignment solutions to be easily programmed in the development language of choice.

For a collection of example projects that can be compiled and run to demonstrate the different ways in which developers can build on the Kinesis motion control libraries, click on the links below. Please note that a separate integrated development environment (IDE) (e.g., Microsoft Visual Studio) will be required to execute the Quick Start examples. The C# example projects can be executed using the included .NET controls in the Kinesis software package (see the Kinesis Software tab for details).

C Sharp Icon Click Here for the Kinesis with C# Quick Start Guide
Click Here for C# Example Projects
Click Here for Quick Start Device Control Examples
C Sharp Icon

LabVIEW
LabVIEW can be used to communicate with any Kinesis- or APT-based controller via .NET controls. In LabVIEW, you build a user interface, known as a front panel, with a set of tools and objects and then add code using graphical representations of functions to control the front panel objects. The LabVIEW tutorial, provided below, provides some information on using the .NET controls to create control GUIs for Kinesis- and APT-driven devices within LabVIEW. It includes an overview with basic information about using controllers in LabVIEW and explains the setup procedure that needs to be completed before using a LabVIEW GUI to operate a device.

Labview Icon Click Here to View the LabVIEW Guide
Click Here to View the Kinesis with LabVIEW Overview Page
Labview Icon

The APT video tutorials available here fall into two main groups - one group covers using the supplied APT utilities and the second group covers programming the APT System using a selection of different programming environments.

Disclaimer: The videos below were originally produced in Adobe Flash. Following the discontinuation of Flash after 2020, these tutorials were re-recorded for future use. The Flash Player controls still appear in the bottom of each video, but they are not functional.

Every APT controller is supplied with the utilities APTUser and APTConfig. APTUser provides a quick and easy way of interacting with the APT control hardware using intuitive graphical control panels. APTConfig is an 'off-line' utility that allows various system wide settings to be made such as pre-selecting mechanical stage types and associating them with specific motion controllers.

APT User Utility

The first video below gives an overview of using the APTUser Utility. The OptoDriver single channel controller products can be operated via their front panel controls in the absence of a control PC. The stored settings relating to the operation of these front panel controls can be changed using the APTUser utility. The second video illustrates this process.

APT User - Overview
APT User - OptoDriver Settings


APT Config Utility

There are various APT system-wide settings that can be made using the APT Config utility, including setting up a simulated hardware configuration and associating mechanical stages with specific motor drive channels. The first video presents a brief overview of the APT Config application. More details on creating a simulated hardware configuration and making stage associations are present in the next two videos.

APT Config - Overview
APT Config - Simulator Setup
APT Config - Stage Association


APT Programming

The APT Software System is implemented as a collection of ActiveX Controls. ActiveX Controls are language-independant software modules that provide both a graphical user interface and a programming interface. There is an ActiveX Control type for each type of hardware unit, e.g. a Motor ActiveX Control covers operation with any type of APT motor controller (DC or stepper). Many Windows software development environments and languages directly support ActiveX Controls, and, once such a Control is embedded into a custom application, all of the functionality it contains is immediately available to the application for automated operation. The videos below illustrate the basics of using the APT ActiveX Controls with LabVIEW, Visual Basic, and Visual C++. Note that many other languages support ActiveX including LabWindows CVI, C++ Builder, VB.NET, C#.NET, Office VBA, Matlab, HPVEE etc. Although these environments are not covered specifically by the tutorial videos, many of the ideas shown will still be relevant to using these other languages.

Visual Basic

Part 1 illustrates how to get an APT ActiveX Control running within Visual Basic, and Part 2 goes on to show how to program a custom positioning sequence.

APT Programming Using Visual Basic - Part 1
APT Programming Using Visual Basic - Part 2


LabVIEW

Full Active support is provided by LabVIEW and the series of tutorial videos below illustrate the basic building blocks in creating a custom APT motion control sequence. We start by showing how to call up the Thorlabs-supplied online help during software development. Part 2 illustrates how to create an APT ActiveX Control. ActiveX Controls provide both Methods (i.e. Functions) and Properties (i.e. Value Settings). Parts 3 and 4 show how to create and wire up both the methods and properties exposed by an ActiveX Control. Finally, in Part 5, we pull everything together and show a completed LabVIEW example program that demonstrates a custom move sequence.

APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 1: Accessing Online Help
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 2: Creating an ActiveX Control
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 3: Create an ActiveX Method
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 4: Create an ActiveX Property
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 5: How to Start an ActiveX Control


The following tutorial videos illustrate alternative ways of creating Method and Property nodes:

APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Create an ActiveX Method (Alternative)
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Create an ActiveX Property (Alternative)


Visual C++

Part 1 illustrates how to get an APT ActiveX Control running within Visual C++, and Part 2 goes on to show how to program a custom positioning sequence.

APT Programming with Visual C++ - Part 1
APT Programming with Visual C++ - Part 2


MATLAB

For assistance when using MATLAB and ActiveX controls with the Thorlabs APT positioners, click here.

To further assist programmers, a guide to programming the APT software in LabVIEW is also available here.


Posted Comments:
Rich Rademacher  (posted 2019-10-09 11:46:45.533)
Hello, I am working on a nanopositioning project using the MMR601 product. This project requires custom automation and so we cannot use the APT or Kinesis GUI. I do see you have the APT protocol documented and I think we can use this. However, USB is a problem for us. I see the MMR601 has an external RS485 port on the D-sub user connector. Does this port use the same APT protocol, but obviously without the FTDI chip USB wrapper? Thanks, Rich
cwright  (posted 2019-10-11 06:19:55.0)
Hello Rich, thank you for contacting us. Yes, the serial commands described in the communication protocol can be used to communicate with the controller over the RS484 pins. The communications protocol is identical regardless of the interface used - USB or RS485.
TechnicalMarketing  (posted 2007-10-19 14:58:03.0)
Thank you for taking the time to point out the typo in our price box. We appreatiate your contribution to our effort of improving the accuracy and content of Thorlabs website.
cjohns  (posted 2007-10-19 14:20:35.0)
MNA601/IR - Should be "InGaAs" detector?

APT NanoTrak® Auto-Alignment Module

When used with the MMR601 or MMR602 rack systems, the NanoTrak® controller optimizes the coupling power when aligning optical devices. The output piezo drive signal is used to position the input and output devices for optimum throughput. It is shipped with an IR range (InGaAs) detector and a PIN current adapter. A visible range (Si) detector (NTA009) is available separately (see below).

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
MNA601/IR Support Documentation
MNA601/IRAPT 2-Ch Piezo/NanoTrak® Auto-Alignment Controller with InGaAs Detector (900 - 1700 nm)
$4,987.50
Today
MMR601 Support Documentation
MMR601APT Modular Midi-Rack Assembly & Server Software (No Cover)
$4,504.86
5-8 Days
MMR602 Support Documentation
MMR602APT Modular Midi-Rack Assembly with Cover & Server Software
$4,661.76
Today

NanoTrak® Detector Heads

Detector Head Back ViewClick to Enlarge
Detector Head, Back View

These infrared (NTA007) and visible (NTA009) wavelength detector heads are compatible with the benchtop (BNT001/IR), previous-generation T-Cube™ (TNA001/IR), and rack-mounted (MNA601/IR) NanoTrak® controllers. Both detector heads have an FC/PC optical fiber input and interface with the benchtop controller via a jack at the back of the detector, as shown to the right.

Item # Wavelength Range Active Area Fiber Input Dark Current Junction Capacitance
NTA009 320 - 1000 nm Ø 0.8 mm FC/PC 0.01 nA (Typ.) @ 10 V 3.00 pF(Typ.) @ 10 V
NTA007 900 - 1700 nm Ø 0.12 mm FC/PC 0.05 nA (Typ.) @ 5 V 2.0 pF (Typ.) @ 5 V

NTA Responsivity

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
NTA009 Support Documentation
NTA009APT NanoTrak® Visible Light (Si) Detector Head, 320 - 1000 nm
$336.54
Today
NTA007 Support Documentation
NTA007APT NanoTrak® IR (InGaAs) Detector Head, 900 - 1700 nm
$323.55
Today