Since the plate is levitating, we are now in the position for real work. Here are the two major issues to investigate in the plan.
1. TF of the plate and cross coupling among different degrees of freedom (important in order to optimize the control servo)
We will measure various transfer functions to characterize the plate TF and cross couplings. We will build six degrees of freedom simulink model based on Georgios's work of three DOFs, and try to make a match between the model and the system.
2. Noise budget (to pin down the major noise source)
(a) sensing and actuation noise
We will calibrate the noise from the hall effect sensor. If it is confirmed to be the major noise, we can switch to the optical lever sensing scheme as planned. The coil is quite weak, in terms of voltage to force conversion factor, and it is 5mN/V. The thermal noise of the coil may not be important (to be confirmed with more rigorous analysis).
(c) acoustic noise
Right now the system is exposed in air, and it is anticipated that the acoustic noise is quite significant. To mitigate this noise, we can use a bell jar to cover it which can give a reasonable level of noise isolation.
(b) seismic noise
We will make a correlation measurement between the sensor output and the seismometer (or accelerometer) to see where the seismic noise dominates.
(d) ambient magnetic field noise
We will use two low-noise honeywell hall effect sensors [link] to measure the ambient magnetic field. To get a better sensitivity, we will use differential measurement by shielding one (together with instrumentation amplifier for amplifying the readout).
(e) thermal noise of the magnet
The major noise source comes from the random jitering of the magnetic moments due to thermal excitation. We can find the literature on how to analyze this kind of noise.
(f) long-term drift
We know little about the long stability of the magnets and also how the temperature drift affects the magnets. This needs to be investigated.