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Understand Noise at the Sub-nanometer Level

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Author: James F. MacKay
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Mad City Labs Inc.

Every positioner has some level of uncertainty in its position, some slight amount of movement that contributes noise to a measurement. The question is whether that uncertainty - also known as position noise - is tolerable for a given device and a given application. Most manufacturers of nanopositioning systems specify their noise, but for a customer to make an informed decision, they must have some understanding of what that noise specification means. That cannot be expressed in a single value, but should be shown as a spectrum that plots noise over frequency and separates the noise from different axes. Armed with such information, users can be sure they’re getting a low noise, high-precision system that meets their needs.

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