Melles Griot has shipped the first automated diode laser test and characterization system, on a multiunit order, to a leading photonics component manufacturer. The remainder of the systems on this $3,000,000+ contract will be delivered over the coming months. The Melles Griot solution was chosen for its versatility and its ability to perform very repeatable high-speed alignments. This custom system is designed around multiple units of the award-winning NanoMax™ three-axis nanopositioning stage - an extremely versatile, production-proven product. Component prealignment is accomplished quickly and reliably using Melles Griot Invaritar™ telecentric machine-vision optics in combination with optical distance-measuring software. Precision optical signal coupling is done in real time using the high-speed NanoTrak™ alignment system. All vision, motion control and characterization processes are controlled by an industrial PC running the Melles Griot ActiveX® Automation server, an open platform server for efficient process development and optimization. The workstation combines automated alignment systems from the Melles Griot Ely facility with test and characterization instrumentation developed and manufactured by the Melles Griot instrumentation group in Boulder, Colorado. The workstation is fully furnished with electrical, air, and mechanical interfaces to support ancillary equipment. "Melles Griot systems are designed for demanding 24/7 applications," says Dr. Stephen Kidd, director of the Melles Griot capital equipment business unit. "We offer our customers reliable workstations that increase yield, throughput, and product quality. With our unique combination of fiber-optic knowledge, nanopositioning expertise, and world-wide support, we can combine machine vision, ergonomic workstation design, and state-of-the-art instrumentation to build the optimum automated solution for our customers."