(BNL) A Motion Control Test and Integration System Using EtherCAT Based Drives and Power PMAC


As a standard, a PMAC Geo Brick LV with integrated 8 axis drives was selected for the motion  control needs. The product has met most of the basic motion control needs at NSLS-II, however its age (~20 years old) and computational limitation have led to the selection of the new generation motion controller (Power PMAC) at a few beamlines. The integrated nature of the 8 axis drives also make upgrade or repair difficult on existing Geo Brick LV unit as the complete system has to be taken off commission and sent for repairs. This project aims to develop a modular motion control system based on standard EtherCAT based drives and Power PMAC as the computing core to meet motion control demands at NSLS-II in the coming years. The key design goals of the system would include the use of commercial off-the-shelf components, modularity in order to to control various types of motors and expandability to control a large number of axes from a single controller with the ability to control distributed drives. The choice of an EtherCAT interface would allow access to a large number of vendors and drive models to better match the physical system and the ability to upgrade or repair a single drive in the system. Overall these features will allow cost reduction and high uptime requirement of large scale physics systems such as NSLS-II. The student will research suitable drives based on commonly used actuators at NSLS-II,  perform PCB design and mechanical layout of the motion control system, assemble a test-bed system and perform motion control testing using an existing mechanical systems

Position Dates: 6/5/2017 - 8/11/2017

Paid Position: Yes, hourly pay rate dependent on student's class level

Note: Housing may be available

Eligibility: U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and international students.