Performance data characterizing a direct optical activation device that operates either pneumatically or hydraulically are presented. This direct conversion device for optical signals offers immunity to electromagnetic interference and provides an alternative to electrooptic and electromechanical valves for actuation. The device uses a modified fluidic laminar proportional amplifier, employing laser induced deflection of the fluidic supply jet to perform the signal conversion. The pneumatic version operates at a supply pressure of 20.7 kPa having a gain of 15.5 kPa/W of optical power and a bandwidth of 140 Hz. The hydraulic version of the device operates with MIL-5606 hydraulic oil pressurized to a supply pressure of 1300 kPa. The hydraulic version has a gain of 170 kPa/W of input optical power and a bandwidth of 170 Hz. Experiments have determined that the laser induced deflection of the supply jet is a result of optical modulation of the fluid viscosity which creates an asymmetric jet flow.
© 1990 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 15, 1989
Published: November 1, 1990
Bruce D. Hockaday and James P. Waters, "Direct optical-to-mechanical actuation," Appl. Opt. 29, 4629-4632 (1990)