We present the realization and the characterization of a picometer reference actuator (PRA), a metrological instrument based on a precision linear actuator capable of 100 µm range with subnanometer accuracy, picometer resolution, and submicroradian tip-tilt pointing control. The PRA relies on an integrated multiple reflections homodyne interferometer as a high resolution and accurate internal reference, on a multiple reflection based angle sensor for the control of the movement straightness, and on a versatile mirrors configuration to transfer the metrological traceability to an external device. As an example case we report the use of the PRA for the characterization of the non-linearities of the INRIM heterodyne interferometer dedicated to the calibration of capacitive sensors.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank their colleague Marco Santiano for his valuable technical support, their colleagues Nicola Bancone, Massimo Zucco and Milena Astrua for their support in software development and their colleague Gian Bartolo Picotto for the realization of the heterodyne interferometer used in the comparison. The research leading to the results presented here has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme, ERA-NET Plus, under grant agreement no 217257.