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Message ID: 714     Entry time: Fri Aug 16 18:37:56 2013
Author: Giorgos 
Type: DailyProgress 
Category: SUS 
Subject: Bringing Sensors closer to Plate, Correcting Offset and Gain 

Yesterday, we tried levitating for one degree of freedom; we failed. The plate would move back and forth the equilibrium, but not settle there for more than a second. Haixing suggested moving the sensors closer to the plate, so that our signal is larger. This way, we can be less sensitivity to noise. However, that entails that we recalibrate the HE offset, the cross coupling measurement and the gains of our feedback loop.

So, today we moved the AC1, AC2, AC3 sensors closer to the plate and removed the DC1, DC2, DC3 sensors from our setup, since they are of no use. We also replaced the 91 gain of the HE sensors with a gain of 11 (11k and 1k are the resistors we used).
Then, we measured the response of the HE sensors and found that the signal produced changes by about 120mV for each mm; that is about a factor of 6 better than before.

Since the sensors are now at a different location, they have a different voltage offset; this should be larger since they are now closer to the levitated plate. To measure the new offset, we moved the motors such that the equilibrium would lie between the top and bottom motors. Then, we measured the offset reading of the sensors when the plate was stuck at the top and at the bottom and averaged the two. We used our measurements and, by taking into account the offset we had already applied in the first place, we replaced the resistors in our circuit such that the offset of the AC1-3 sensors would be no greater than 50mV. For AC1: R1=6.2K, R2=5.1K, for AC2: R1=13K, R2=11K, for AC3: R1=20K, R2=16K.

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