We present a method to control the phase of an optical lattice according to an external trigger signal. The method has a latency of less than 30 s. Two phase locked digital synthesizers provide the driving signal for two acousto-optic modulators which control the frequency and phase of the counter-propagating beams which form a standing wave (optical lattice). A micro-controller with an external interrupt function is connected to the desired external signal, and updates the phase register of one of the synthesizers when the external signal changes. The standing wave (period 2 390 nm) can be moved by units of 49 nm with a mean jitter of 28 nm. The phase change is well known due to the digital nature of the synthesizer, and does not need calibration. The uses of the scheme include coherent control of atomic matter-wave dynamics.
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