Faculty Advisor

Gatsonis, Nikolaos A.

Project Center

MIT Lincoln Laboratory-Lexington, Massachusetts


The project characterizes the performance of a nano-positioning stage (NPS) designed by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The NPS is part of a highly precise beam-steering device used in laser communications. The NPS is comprised of a flexured stage, actuated by Piezo actuators in two degrees of freedom. The project presents the design of testing fixtures and testing procedures to predict performance, strength and dynamic response of the NPS. The results and analyses address the creep, hysteresis, total travel, cross-axis response, and temperature survivability of the NPS. Finite element analysis of the NPS was performed and validated by comparisons with the experiments. Recommendations for future testing and improvements of the current baseline design are presented.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

October 2012


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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