This paper presents a new method to increase the measurement resolution of quadrature encoders. The method contains an adaptive signal correction step and a signal interpolation step. Measured encoder signals contain imperfections including amplitude differences, mean offsets, and quadrature phase shift errors. With the proposed method, these errors are first corrected by using recursive least squares (RLS) estimation with exponential forgetting and resetting. Then, the corrected signals are interpolated to higher order sinusoids using a quick access look-up table generated offline. The position information can be obtained with the conversion of these high-order sinusoids to binary pulses and counting the zero crossings. Using the method presented here, a 10 nm measurement resolution is obtained using an encoder with 1 μm off-the-shelf resolution. Validation of the method and the practical limitations are also presented. Further increase in the resolution can be achieved by minimizing the effects of the electrical noise.

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