This tutorial will provide the framework required when designing mechanical systems with high immunity against thermal effects, i.e. temperature drifts and/or thermally induced elastic distortions. It will span basic and advanced concepts, evaluation tools and methods, as well as control strategies and practical limitations. A particular emphasis will be placed on the usage of an integrated approach, allowing to develop compact thermal elastic models sufficient to provide an understanding of the key parameters governing each problem. Such models can not only be used to decide on the severity of individual disturbance sources but are also mandatory when designing practical mitigation solutions, either passive or active.
The approach will be illustrated with applications ranging from simple, academic-like test cases to widespread mechanical components such as flexure-based translation stage, up to more advanced opto-mechanical systems (wavefront interferometers / high finesse etalon cavities). From these examples, it will be demonstrated that the design of high-performance systems relies on a small set of concepts and rules, which can be effective for fulfilling ordinary or less conventional customers’ requirements.
This is a beginning to intermediate level course, with material ranging from basic to complex, to provide both an overview and references for further study. The intended audience is graduates, postgraduate engineers/physicists, plus industry technical staff having a first experience in systems for which thermal stability aspects are relevant, and aiming at strengthening their insight so as to reduce guesswork for future projects.