user manual pco.flim pco. PCO asks you to carefully read this manual before using the pco.flim camera system and follow the instructions. In case of any questions or comments, please contact us at PCO. telephone +49 (0) 9441 2005 50 fax +49 (0) 9441 2005 20 email [email protected] postal address PCO AG Donaupark 11 93309 Kelheim, Germany The cover photo shows an exemplary PCO camera system. The lens is sold separately. Copyright © 2016 PCO AG (called PCO in the following text), Kelheim, Germany. All rights reserved. PCO assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in these materials. These materials are provided as is without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. PCO further does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within these materials. PCO shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including without limitation, lost revenues or lost profits, which may result from the use of these materials. The information is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of PCO in the future. PCO hereby authorizes you to copy documents for non – commercial use within your organization only. In consideration of this authorization, you agree that any copy of these documents, which you make, shall retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained herein. Each individual document published by PCO may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that individual document. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication or otherwise any license or right under any patent or trademark of PCO or any third party. Except as expressly provided, above nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any PCO copyright. Note that any product, process, or technology in this document may be the subject of other intellectual property rights reserved by PCO, and may not be licensed hereunder. Released May 2016 © PCO AG pco.flim User Manual V1.10 © PCO AG, Germany TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 INTENDED USE 5 5 2. SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS 6 3. SYSTEM COMPONENTS 7 4. INSTALLATION 8 4.1 CAMERA DRIVER 8 4.2 CAMWARE 9 5. QUICK START 10 5.1 PREPARATION 10 5.2 START 10 5.3 YOUR FIRST IMAGE 11 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE 12 6.1 INTRODUCTION / CONTENT 12 6.2 OVERVIEW OF ALL BUTTONS 13 6.3 CAMERA CONTROL WINDOW 14 6.3.1 TIMING TAB 15 6.3.2 SENSOR (SIZE) TAB 17 6.3.3 SENSOR (MISC.) TAB 18 6.3.4 RECORDING TAB 19 6.3.5 I/O SIGNALS TAB 20 6.4 CAMWARE FEATURES 21 6.4.1 DEMO MODE 21 6.4.2 FILE MENU 22 6.4.3 CAMERA MENU 26 6.4.4 ACQUISITION MENU 27 6.4.5 VIEW MENU 28 6.4.6 WINDOW MENU 30 6.4.7 HELP MENU 30 6.4.8 LOCAL MENU 31 6.4.9 ADDITIONAL FEATURES 32 3 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE 33 7.1 START 33 7.2 DATA FILES TAB 34 7.2.1 LOAD REFERENCE 34 7.2.2 LOAD DATA 37 7.2.3 EXPORT RESULTS 39 7.3 CAMERA MENU 40 7.3.1 MENU BAR 40 7.3.2 FIND CAMERA 40 7.3.3 SEQUENCE CONFIGURATION TAB 41 7.3.4 EXPOSURE TIME / NUMBER OF IMAGES 42 7.3.5 FUNCTION BUTTONS 42 7.4 VIEW MENU 45 7.5 LICENSING MENU 50 APPENDIX 51 A1 TECHNICAL DATA 52 A1.1 MECHANICAL DIMENSIONS 52 A1.2 DATA SHEET 53 A1.3 REVERSE OF THE PCO.FLIM 54 A2 USB 3.0 56 A2.1 HARDWARE RECOMMENDATIONS 56 A2.2 INSTALLATION OF THE USB 3.0 CARD 58 A3 WATER COOLING PCO.AQUAMATIC II 59 A3.1 SYSTEM COMPONENTS 59 A3.2 FIRST TIME INSTALLATION 60 A3.3 OPERATION 61 A3.4 DIMENSIONS 62 A4 IMAGE FILE FORMATS 63 A5 CUSTOMER SERVICE 65 A5.1 SERVICE 65 A5.2 MAINTENANCE 65 A5.3 RECYCLING 65 A5.4 TROUBLE SHOOTING 66 A6 INDEX 67 ABOUT PCO 68 4 1. INTRODUCTION 1. INTRODUCTION Advantages of the pco.flim The pco.flim camera system is the first luminescence lifetime imaging camera using a special 2 tap CMOS image sensor. It has all the required generation of frequency domain signals included (5 kHz – 40 MHz) and also allows in a limited frequency range (500 kHz – 40 MHz) the use of external modulation signals. It has an USB 3.0 interface for image data transfer and control of all camera operation modes. Further it has a variety of trigger input / output signals for integration of the camera into any application framework. The camera’s main features are: • • • • • • • • • • • high resolution (1008 x 1008 pixel) lifetimes from 100 ps to 100 ns quantum efficiency up to 39% >1000:1 (60dB) dynamic range low noise of 45 e- rms high frame-rate 90 fps (2-tap readout) exposure times from 10 ns to 10 s vibration-free water cooling modulation frequency range 5 kHz to 40 MHz USB3.0 interface pixel size 5.6 µm x 5.6 µm 1.1 INTENDED USE This camera system is designed for use by technicians, engineers and scientists. It is a scientific measuring instrument, which provides images. The camera may only be used according to the instructions of this manual. The disclosures and operating conditions in these operating instructions must be respected. Unauthorized modifications and changes of the device are forbidden for safety reasons. Areas of Application • • • • • • • fluorescence lifetime imaging life science scientific imaging pressure sensitive paint (PSP) FRET bioluminescence / chemoluminescence imaging of bio markers (e.g. green fluorescent protein, GFP) 5 2. SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS Please read the safety instructions completely and follow them always. DANGER DAMAGED POWER CABLE OR POWER PLUG Danger to life due to electric shock. Each time the camera is used, check the power cable for damage. WARNING ELECTRIC SHOCK WARNING DUE TO VOLTAGE PARTS INSIDE Risk of injury due to electric shock. Never slide any items through slits or holes into the camera. CAUTION CONDENSATION Risk of injury due to electric shock if condensation enters the camera. To avoid the risk of water condensation, protect the camera against extreme changes of ambient temperature. CAUTION TRIPPING HAZARD Risk of injury from tripping over loose cables. Never position the cable in a way that it could become a tripping hazard. NOTICE HUMID OR DUSTY ENVIRONMENTS Humidity, dust or X-rays could damage the camera. Never operate the camera in humid or dusty environments or in places with high amounts of X-ray radiation. NOTICE JOLT & VIBRATION To prevent damage to the camera, the system must be kept stable and protected against strong jolts or vibrations. Use the mounting threads of the camera to mount the camera stable. NOTICE LENS MOUNTING Do not force the lens onto the camera. To protect the lens connector thread from damage, use minimal force when attaching a lens to the camera. NOTICE LIQUIDS DAMAGE CAMERA If liquids have penetrated the device. Immediately switch off the camera, separate it from power line and contact our customer support. NOTICE DAMAGED CAMERA HOUSING If the camera has been dropped or the casing is damaged. Immediately switch off the camera, separate it from power line and contact our customer support. NOTICE IF CAMERA IS NOT WORKING PROPERLY If, after thoroughly reviewing the instruction manual, the device is still not operating properly. Immediately switch off the camera, separate it from power line and contact our customer support. 6 3. SYSTEM COMPONENTS 3. SYSTEM COMPONENTS The camera system includes the following parts. Camera Head C-mount optical connection: The distance between the front edge of the c-mount and the sensor is 17.52 mm. For standard c-mount lenses and adapters. DC Power Jack (connect to power supply) USB 3.0 connector Trigger Connector (see A1.3) LED indicates camera status (see A1.3) LED Green continuous=camera is ready LED Yellow =boot loader LED Orange = camera is armed/blinking while recording LED Red continuous=error Serial Number Tag Mounting Thread 3/8''-16 UNC 1/4"- 20 UNC M6 Power Supply AC to 12V/DC power supply USB 3.0 cable USB-A/USB-B cable (5 m) Digital Camera Tools (USB storage device content) • • • Camware: software for camera control & image acquisition Camera driver & tools Software development kit (SDK) & demo programs in C and C++ 7 4. INSTALLATION You will find all necessary files on the accompanying USB storage device. You may also download the newest versions of our software, camera driver and third party software drivers from our Website (www.pco.de). Minimum system requirements: • • • • • Clock speed > 2 GHz (Intel i5 Haswell or better) RAM > 4 GB Windows 7 or higher 1280 x 1024 pixel resolution display USB 3.0 4.1 CAMERA DRIVER Please start the USB 3.0 driver installation from your pco.usb stick. Don’t connect the camera to your computer before driver is completely installed. Run the provided installation file and follow the instructions of the installation wizard. 1 After finishing 2 the driver installation wizard please connect your pco.flim camera to its power supply and via enclosed USB 3.0 cable to your computer. The first time the camera is connected via USB to your computer, Windows will notify the user that a new device has been detected. 1 2 8 4. INSTALLATION 4.2 CAMWARE The Camware Windows application software enables you to control every camera parameter or setting. Images can be displayed on a monitor and may be downloaded and stored. The USB storage device contains the installation files for the software for latest Windows operating systems in 32 & 64 bit. After a successful installation, you will find the program file Digital Camera Toolbox in your program directory and a Camware32/64 button on your desktop. Other helpful tools are also installed in the same directory. To uninstall the Camware program, please use the Software feature under Windows’ System Control. Please follow the installation wizard -1 Install Camware as Admin to install to program folder, instead it will be installed only to user folder. -2 Then choose install directory. -3 Choose Components: Select additional drivers for camera Link Interface (not available for pco.flim). -4 1 3 After the next two screens installation is complete. 2 - 4 9 5. QUICK START In order to get familiar with your new camera and software it might be helpful, if you first aim at an object that is easy to focus and that can be seen at standard light conditions. 5.1 PREPARATION • Computer is turned on • Installation is finished (see chapter 4) • An appropriate lens is attached (remove cap) or the camera is attached properly to the microscope, spectrograph or other scientific device • Camera is connected to your computer • Camera is connected to the power supply and ready (LED green) 5.2 START Start Camware and the graphical user interface will start up: NOTE Always install latest Camware version to be able to use full function of your pco camera. 10 5. QUICK START 5.3 YOUR FIRST IMAGE Please follow the instructions: 1• Camware must be started. 2• Open view window (b/w ). 3• Start live preview. 4• Apply auto range peak. 5• You may adjust exposure time, aperture and focus. 6• Now you should clearly see the object in the window. If you need to change exposure time (e.g. the image is still either too dark or too bright), please go to chapter 6.3. If you want to record and save images, please see chapter 6.2 and chapter 6.4 for detailed information. NOTE Live preview: Useful for fast and easy camera adjustment and focusing. This command disables the Camera Control window if it is opened (except exposure time setting). 11 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE 6.1 INTRODUCTION / CONTENT PCO’s Camware is excellent software for camera control, image acquisition and archiving of images in various file formats. Camware works with any kind of PCO camera. Please see our Website for the latest version of this software. Chapter 6.2. shows an overview of all software buttons and menus of Camware. Chapter 6.3 the Camera Control window. Camera Control is the main interface for all camera settings: 6.3.1 Timing Tab 6.3.2 Sensor Size Tab 6.3.3 Sensor (Misc) Tab 6.3.4 Recording Tab 6.3.5 I/O Signals Tab 6.3.6 FLIM Tab Timing /trigger modes/ synchronization ROI / Sensor format / binning CDI / Double Shutter / temperature Recorder Aquire Mode / timestamp / sequence trigger Input and Output signal possibilities External Tool Chapter 6.4 introduces to further Camware features: 6.4.1 Demo Mode 6.4.2 File Menu 6.4.3 Camera Menu 6.4.4 Acquisation Menu 6.4.5 View Menu 6.4.6 Window Menu 6.4.7 Help Menu 6.4.8 Local (right-click) 6.4.9 Additional Features 12 No camera connected Open, save and print files, Options… Camera Control: Settings; Rescan… Live preview; Acquire secquence; Rec. memory settings; Recorder settings B/W or Color window; Convert Control, Image Browser Cascade; Tile; Arrange; Close all Help file, About Camware Zoom; Flip; Mirror; Rotate… White Balance, Contrast, ROI by Mouse 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE 6.2 OVERVIEW OF ALL BUTTONS Menu Bar See chapter 6.4.2- 6.4.7 Local Menu Mouse right-click is explained in chapter 6.4.8 Toolbar Prints the currently displayed image or comment window Opens a b/w | color display window Opens the camera control window (see chapter 6.3) Opens the convert control (see chapter 6.4.5) Auto range peak/crop (see chapter 6.4.5 Convert Control) Live preview (see chapter 6.4.4) Soft trigger captures a single image (see 6.3.1) Cursor display Cursor: pixel position and intensity value Continuous auto range crop scaling Recorder Record START / STOP / PLAY Opens the recorder settings window (see 6.4.4) Replay Navigation Image Browser: overview of the recorded images (see 6.4.5) Multi Frame Window (see chapter 6.4.5 ) 13 6.3 CAMERA CONTROL WINDOW The camera control window can be opened by selecting the proper command in the Camera-Menu or by the corresponding button in the toolbar. 1 The camera control dialog always adapts to the camera type connected. For the pco.flim the camera control settings are spread over four property sheets 1 , which will be explained below. Changes to the camera control sheets must be completed by pressing the Accept button 2 . 3 In the information field 3 you can see some information about the camera. Click into the info field to change the displayed views. 2 There are three avaiable views of the information field 3 Camera type Actual temperature Image size and frame-rate NOTE If the Accept button is not pressed, these changes will be ignored and lost. If the changes are within the allowed condition limits of the camera, a message is sent to the computer, the button disappears and the green lamp will be highlighted. If an impossible change was attempted, the camera will not accept the change and the red lamp will be highlighted. 14 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE 6.3.1 TIMING TAB Trigger Mode Auto Sequence The camera will optimize the image recording to achieve the best possible frame-rate. In the Auto Sequence exposure control mode, the camera determines the fastest possible frame-rate depending on the adjusted exposure time and the required readout time. After a start command is given, the sequential recording is started until a stop command is given. 2 1 1 The following timing diagram shows the exposure sequencing of two exposures times. busy exposure tdel tread,0 texp,1 toh tdel tread,1 texp,2 toh tdel tread,2 toh light enable (gate) tread,0 : tread,2 : first frame is emitted (not output, only for resetting rows) readout of last exposure ttd: trigger delay (incl. jitter) tread: readout time tdel: delay time toh: overhead time texp: exposure time Maximum fps (Auto Sequence mode, i.e. ttd = 0): 1/fpsonetap = tdel + tread + texp +toh (for one tap) Nrows: number of rows ≙ vertical ROI; FPSbothtaps = 2 * FPSonetap Soft Trigger Single images can be recorded with this Camware command. The single image can be acquired by pressing the Single Trigger button. This button appears after pressing the Start Record button (see 6.2). Other signals cannot influence this operating mode. Timing parameter Pixel clock 12.5 MHz Pixelclock 25 MHz Adjustable 0…1s tdel tread texp toh ttd 31.2 µs * Nrows 20.96 µs * Nrows 10 ns…10 s 4.8 µs ≤ tdel + tread + texp + toh 15 External Exp. Start The image acquisition is triggered by an external signal. It is also possible to force a software trigger for a test image with the Single Trigger button. In the External Exp. Start exposure control mode, single image recording is started by the rising edge of the voltage signal at the Trigger input (see appendix A1.3). trigger busy exposure ttd tdel tread, texp, toh tdel tread, toh light enable (gate) texp,1 : number of exposures and readouts depends on sequence length tread,0 : first frame is emitted (not output, only for resetting rows) External Exp. Ctrl Not available for pco.flim. Timing 2 The exposure time can be adjusted in steps of 10 ns. 16 ttd 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE 6.3.2 SENSOR (SIZE) TAB 1 2 3 Binning 1 Not available for pco.flim. Region of Interest 2 The ROI (Region of Interest) selects only a part of the sensor to be read out, in order to speed up the frame-rate and to reduce the amount of image data. The decreased image size you see within Camware is a combination of reduced sensor resolution and software downsizing (Soft-ROI). ROI by mouse see 6.4.9). The frame-rate only increases, if the vertical resolution is decreased. ROI Step sizes increments horizontal: increments vertical: minimum ROI: Sensor Format 16 pixel steps 1 pixel steps 16 x 4 pixels 3 This sensor implementation provides the option to either read out the standard size of 1008 x 1008 pixels (effective pixels recommended by the sensor manufacturer) or an extended size of 1024 x 1024 pixel (dark pixels around, which can’t be used!) 17 6.3.3 SENSOR (MISC.) TAB Pixelclock 1 2 1 3 The pixel clock sets the clock frequency and therefore the image sensor readout speed. Possible settings are 12 MHz (real clock frequency is 12.5 MHz) or 25 MHz. At 25 MHz the image sensor is read out with nearly double speed, achieving higher frame-rates. The following table shows frame-rates for two active taps. Resolution 12.5 MHz 25 MHz 1008 x 1008 63 fps 94 fps 800 x 600 106 fps 158 fps A/D Converter Not available for pco.flim. IR Sensitivity Not available for pco.flim. Offset Control Not available for pco.flim. B/W Noise Filter Not available for pco.flim. Conversion Factor 2 The conversion factor defines how many charges (electrons), which have been generated by light in each pixel, are necessary to generate one count (one intensity level) in the digital image. Therefore, the conversion factor describes the gain when converting electrons into a digital value. Cooling Setpoint 3 If a pco.flim is connected, sensor temperature is adjustable (air- or water-cooling). Recommended sensor temperature is 5°C. Display of sensor temperature: A Peltier cooling unit is used to keep the sensor's dark current to an acceptable minimum and to allow for a continuous operation free of any drift phenomena in image sequences. Either an internal fan or an external water cooling system assures proper heat transfer from the Peltier element to regulate the temperature of the cameras. 18 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE 6.3.4 RECORDING TAB Recorder Mode 1 1 In Sequence mode the recording stops when (computer) RAM space is full. In Ring Buffer mode the camera will stop only by a stop command. 3 2 Acquire Mode 2 Not available for pco.flim. Timestamp 3 A time stamp can be placed into the upper left corner of the image. It can be either put off, binary,binary with text or text. The time resolution is 1μs. In binary mode the first 16 pixels will be filled with the time stamp information (binary code). The numbers are coded in BCD with one byte per pixel, which means that every pixel can hold 2 digits. If the pixels have a resolution of more than 8 bits, then the BCD digits are right bound adjusted and the upper bits are zero. For further information please refer to the SDK. In binary and ASCII mode text will be placed into the image replacing the content of the image (272 x 8 pixels ASCII). Time step shows the end of exposure time. Three different information is stamped onto the image: number of the image 1 , date 2 and time 3 . 1 19 2 3 6.3.5 I/O SIGNALS TAB 1 2 3 4 Exposure Trigger 1 If checked, a signal for External Exp. Start trigger mode (see chapter 6.3.1) is accepted at the Exposure Trigger (see A1.3). Status Busy 2 A signal indicating busy status is given at the status busy output. Once an acceptable trigger edge is received, busy will go on status high. As soon as busy goes low again, a new trigger edge is accepted. (negative logic possible, too!) Status Expos 3 A signal indicating exposure status is given at the status output. Status Expos indicates the actual exposure window for one frame. Light Enable 2 This connection shows a signal of an external light source. Filter electrical interference filters Polarity Type active for high/low signal or rising/falling edge Maximum low level: 0.8V Minimum high level: 2V Slew Rate >1ms/V TTL Electrically grounded, no opt coupler. 3.3Volt LVTTL out , short time short-circuit-proof. 20 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE 6.4 CAMWARE FEATURES This chapter describes in detail the Camware Demo Mode and the File, Camera, Acquisition, View and Window menus. 6.4.1 DEMO MODE When Camware is started, it automatically recognizes the camera type of the connected and running cameras. Camware will start in Demo Mode, if your camera is switched off or no camera is connected In this mode all image processing features are available. The user only has to tell Camware what type of image he wants to open. For that purpose, the Demo Mode Setup window opens and asks for the corresponding input. Need Help? If this window pops up because you have trouble running the camera, please see instructions in appendix A5.4. Resolution The drop down list displays the existing image sensor spatial resolutions of all PCO camera systems. Please select the specific resolution and bit depth of the images to be opened. If double shutter images have been recorded and should be opened, Double Shutter Mode should be checked. Color With the radio buttons, the user can specify whether the image type is monochrome (b/w) or color. Alignment These two radio buttons adjust whether MSB (most significant bit) aligned (upper) or LSB (least significant bit) aligned (lower) images have been stored (see 6.4.2 File Settings) Settings to view the b16 files of the pco.flim Resolution 1008x1008 Bit 14 21 DoubleShutter no Color b/w Alignment upper 6.4.2 FILE MENU NOTE be aware of the different storage abilities of the formats, for example *.bmp - the bitmap format only allows for 8bit values to be stored and therefore the image content of a 16 bit image is reduced, if stored as bitmap. Open RAW File (single image only) This command should be used to import a single image into the currently active image window. Only files with the extension and format of *.b16 (=PCO proprietary binary image format) and *.tif (16 bit TIFF image format) can be imported. If the recorder is enabled, each imported image will be transferred to the buffer shown in the picture number. The image itself will be fitted to the current image size. If the recorder is disabled, the current image sizes will be set to the parameters of the imported image. Open RAW File Set (only for pco.hsfc pro camera) Open RAW Recorder Sequence (image sequence from one camera) This command is used to import a sequence of images. If more than one camera is connected and an image window is currently open, the sequence will be loaded to the active window. If no image window is open, the images will be loaded to camera #1. This command opens the Open file dialog box. Only files with the extension and the format of *.b16 and *.tif (TIFF16) can be imported. Save RAW File (single image only) This command should be used to save the image, which is displayed in the active window. The command opens the Save file dialog box. The image file can be saved in 16bit *.b16 and *.tif format. If more than one camera is connected, it is possible to save all current images by selecting Export all images in the Save file dialog box. With this feature it is possible to save one image of each active camera within one process step (it is not necessary to repeat the save process for each camera). The Save command will not be available, if no image window is open. Save RAW Set (only for pco.hsfc pro camera) Save RAW Recorder Sequence (image sequence of one camera) The Save Recorder command should be used to save or export image sequences. If more than one camera is connected and an image window is currently open, the record of the active window will be saved. The command opens the Save recorder file dialog box. The Save Recorder command will not be available, if no image window is open. Export File (not reloadable!) Use this command to export the image of the active image window. This command will open the Export Image dialog box. Files with the extensions fts, tif, bmp, asc, jpg, and jp2 can be exported. This item will not be visible, if no image window is open 22 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE Export Recorder Sequence (not reloadable!) Use this command to export a sequence of images. If more than one channel is connected and an image window is currently open, the record of the window which has got the input focus will be saved. If no image window is open the Export Recorder Sequence menu does not appear. This command will open the Export recorder box. Files with the extensions fts, tif, bmp, asc, avi, mpg, jpg, jp2, and wmv can be exported. (see Appendix A4) Print Setup The Print Setup command opens the Windows Print Setup dialog box for adjustments and settings of the connected printer(s). Print Preview The Print Preview command opens a Print Preview window. Print Opens the Windows Print dialog box. This command opens the Options dialog, allowing special settings. File Settings Tiff File Settings: Align to MSB Here you can select the alignment of the pixel value, if the pixel depth is less than 16bit (e.g. MSB: each pixel value is shifted from bit 12-1 to bit 16-5 in case of 12bit). This removes the dark image effect inside other image applications. Tiff File Settings: RAW 16bit RGB Here you can select whether the 16bit RGB tiff file is saved with 16bit raw or white balanced data. If this item is checked, each 16bit RGB pixel value is saved as raw 16bit RGB (48bit) value, without white balancing. Saving to 16bit RGB can be done by selecting the color display window, export recorder, selecting 8bit-tiff and checking Save 16bit RGB. ASCII file separator Here you can select an appropriate separator for the ASCII file format. JPEG File Settings Here you can select the quality of the saved jpeg/jp2 files: high quality saves images with 100% quality (otherwise 85% quality). Preserve Last Record If checked, a message box will pop up in case the user may overwrite or loose data. 23 Use six digits for filename If you record a sequence of *.b16 files and choose direct record to file Camware is always using six digits for filename (e.g. t_123456.b16). View Settings Image Browser Here you can select between showing all image tiles inside the browser window either b/w or color. Setting b/w will result in a faster refresh, (valid only for color sensor). Convert (Min/Max) (Continuous Auto Range Crop, see chapter 6.4.5 Convert Control BW) This option enables the automatic min/max function during record and replay. Disable this feature if the application stops responding during this mode (due to operating system capacity problems). Marker Use this command to display a crosshair in the center. It is possible to adjust length and color of the crosshair. Paint Images This option enables the update of (both double shutter images or) multiple cameras images during record and replay. Disable this feature if the application stops responding during this mode (due to operating system performance problems). Toolbar Toolbar Opens the corresponding toolbars (see 6.2) Math. Functions With the math window you have the ability to build the difference between a reference image and the actual image. If you activate math every new image acquired will be subtracted from the reference image or vice versa. last acquired image will be copied to reference buffer a reference picture will be acquired and copied to reference buffer add offset to avoid negative values, which would not be visible enable / disable math function Replay Speed Bar The faster replay speed is useful if large sets of image data need to be scanned. 24 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE Misc Infotext Use this command to show or hide the start-up information dialog box. Synchronous Scrolling If this item is checked all opened image windows will be scrolled at the same time and in the same manner. View Embedded Image Info (not available) Multi Win Picture Order With the Multi Window you have the ability to view the images of all active cameras in one window. You can select between camera order oriented or image time oriented order. Image time oriented means that the sequence of images depends on the individual time stamp of each image. Camera order oriented means that the first image shown is from camera 1, then camera 2 and so on. Logfile This option enables the logging of errors and system info. Enable this feature in order to create a support file, which can help to find out troubles with the camera (see A4 ) Load lookup Table (for monochrome cameras) With the Pseudo LUT (Lookup-Table) feature you can load any LUT with one of four different formats and you can view the result in the color view window. Use one of the attached predefined LUTs or define your own. Direct Record to File This command is intended for cameras with internal memory. With this command you can preset a certain number of images to be stored. If the camera captures images faster than the computer can save to disk, then you will lose images. The displaying of the images doesn't interfere with the record process. Record with Flowfile This command should be used to load a flow file. A flow file contains lines with a delay and an exposure time. Each line corresponds to one image to be acquired. If the flow file has 15 delay and exposure times than 15 images will be acquired. Before the image is snapped, the corresponding time values will be sent to the camera. This affects the possible image frame-rate, as additional time is required for setting the values between two images. Please see the sample flow files in the application directory (e.g. flow.txt). Exit This command exits the program and closes all channel dialog windows. Window positions, settings and sizes are stored in the windows registry and will be loaded again at next start-up. 25 6.4.3 CAMERA MENU Camera Control Use this command to open the camera control window (see 6.3). Load Camera Settings With this command you can reload camera settings which have been previously saved. You can reload only a file which has been made with the same camera configuration as it was found by the application at start-up. Save Camera Settings This command saves the actual camera settings of all connected cameras. NOTE Some pixels tend to become very bright during a long exposure. These pixels are called hot pixels. Create Hot Pixel List (only for long exposure times– not available) Use this command to create a Hotpixel-File. To remove hot pixels from the image you have to create a hot pixel file first. If you have already a hot pixel file you only have to enable hot pixel correction. The new value of the hot pixel will be calculated from the values of the neighbouring pixels. You only can create a hot pixel-file if the last exposure was longer than 5s. This command will open the hot pixel dialog. You have to type in the desired count of hot pixels first. Then press the Get Hotpixel button. After this the hot pixel list will be created, using the last acquired image. Now you have the possibility to save the hot pixel list for later use. All list box items with a checkmark will be saved to the hot pixel file. You can select or deselect a group of items by highlighting a group and pressing the checkmark in front of one of the highlighted items. Additionally you can open a local menu inside the list box by pressing the right mouse button. You can verify your selection by scrolling through the list and by a comparison to the average value shown in the dialog. Hotpixel Correction (only for long exposure times– not available) You can enable or disable the hot pixel correction. If hot pixel correction is disabled, a file dialog will be opened, in which you have to select the correct hot pixel file for the corresponding camera. If you have more than one camera connected you have to select the correct camera number first. If hot pixel correction is enabled this feature will be switched off. Auto Exposure Starts some exposures and tries to find an exposure time that captures images with grey values between 1400 and 1500. It readjusts the lookup tables in order to display the images with the new settings best. For low light conditions only. Close Disconnects camera and switches Camware to Demo Mode. In case of multiple cameras, all cameras must be closed in order for Camware to switch to Demo Mode. Rescan Disconnect and reconnect camera. Setup (not available for pco.flim) 26 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE 6.4.4 ACQUISITION MENU Live Preview The Live Preview is useful for fast and easy adjusting and focusing of the camera. The active window will be updated. To see another window, simply click on the window. This option is not available in double shutter mode. Acquire Picture (not available) Records single images in case of sensicam cameras. Acquire Sequence Starts recording images into the system memory according to Trigger Mode selection (see 6.3.1). During the recording, the camera controls are locked. Rec. Memory Settings This sets the number of images recorded in one sequence. The maximum is defined by approved RAM size. Recorder Settings This command opens the Recorder Settings dialog window. The Play Settings are referred to the camera. If more than one camera is connected, the camera number is retrieved from the image window that has received the input focus (is active). If no image window is opened, the dialog is referred to camera 1. If the Set to all checkbox is checked the settings apply to all connected cameras. The Global Settings are valid for all connected cameras. Averaging If in the Avg. dropdown list a value not equal to 1 is selected, the corresponding number of images is averaged in the buffer, reducing the statistically independent noise. Another option to reduce the noise is the activation of the Infinite impulse response IIR lowpass filter. This filter takes 90% of the previous image and 10% of the new image to create images with clearly reduced noise. Image (actual) = Image (act - 1) * 0.9 + Image (new) * 0.1 Replay Speed Slider The slider can be used to adjust the sequence replay speed, from slow (turtle) to fast (rabbit). Seq. Wrap Rec Sequential Wrap Recording sets Recorder Mode to Ring Buffer. If disabled Sequence is active (see 6.3.4). Seq. Wrap Play The play button starts the display for a sequence as defined by the first image/last image fields and will loop until the stop button is pressed. Reverse Play If checked, it is possible to play the recorded images in reverse order. 27 6.4.5 VIEW MENU B/W Window Use this command to open a b/w display window. Color Window (Color version not available for pco.flim) Use this command to open a color display window. Convert Control BW The user can influence how the 14 bit intensity values (x-axis) of the original image are converted into 8 bit values (y-axis) in different ways. BW Settings (includes histogram of original data) It is possible to hide the histogram of original data 1 and to switch tab/histogram 2 . 4 1 Green sliders in histogram 3 left slider = Min controller (corresponds to value 0 of the 8 bit display). Values below that mark are set to 0, i.e. displayed as black. right slider = Max controller (corresponds to value 255). Values above that mark are set to 255, i.e. displayed as white. 2 3 The values in-between are converted into a value between 0 and 255 according to Contrast and Gamma settings. See the small graph 4 , which reflects the calculation. Converted Hist This tab shows converted data. you the histogram of How the Auto Range applies Auto Range Peak searches for the minimum and maximum 14 bit intensity values of the image. Given these number the converter scales the 8 bit display (256) within these two values. Auto Range Crop sets the converter to ignore the extreme intensity values of the image and scales the display in a smaller range. Thus dark or bright light spots, reflections, etc. are cut off. Min/Max (Automatic) = Continuous Auto Range Crop Proc config tab: please see under Convert Control Color 28 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE Proc. Config (Process configuration) Due to proprietary high-end algorithms used for these image processing features, no detailed description is given here 1 2 1 Switch on in order to significantly reduce processing time 2 Pixel color correction 3 Non local means algorithm 4 Adaptive to brightness and patterns 5 Sharpen 3 4 5 Convert Control Color (not available for pco.flim) GPU Processing In order to benefit from all of Camware’s advanced processing features, we highly recommend a NVIDIA CUDA-enabled graphics processing unit (GPU). AMD's ATI graphics processing units are not recommended. Find a list of CUDA-enabled products here: • https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus Get the CUDA driver here: • https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-downloads Make sure: • that the CUDA driver is successfully installed. • that the GPU has at least 512MB memory. Browser The Recorder Browser gives an overview of the images in the Recorder, and helps you in an easy way to select a new current image. Simply click on the desired image to make it the current image. It may then be viewed in the Black/White and Color Window. The Browser window can show up to 40 pictures per page, thus enables an easy overview of the recorded images. You can switch between the single pages by double clicking inside the Browser window or with the local menu (right mouse button). Skip #images allows for convenient overview at large numbers of images. Multi Window View the images of all active cameras in consecutive order in one window. Time oriented means that the sequence of images depends on the individual time stamp of each image. Camera number oriented means that the first image shown is from camera 1, then camera 2 and so on. Embedded Image Info (not available for pco.flim) 29 6.4.6 WINDOW MENU Cascade Show all windows overlapped. Tile Tile windows vertically or horizontally. Arrange Icons Rearranges all minimized topic icons on the desktop. Close All Close all windows. 6.4.7 HELP MENU Contents Opens the main page of the program help. Search for Help on Opens an index list for help. About Camware This window shows program information and contains helpful support links. In case of a camera problem, support files (see 6.4.2 Options/Misc/Logfile) may be generated, which can be automatically attached to the email. The support files contain relevant hardware information, the log files and the pco related registry entries. These files are moved into a zip-archive called CWSupport.zip, which can be found in the application folder. 30 6. CAMWARE 3 SOFTWARE 6.4.8 LOCAL MENU The local menu is opened by clicking the right mouse button inside the client area of an image window. Image Properties Opens an information bubble with main image properties and activates the in-image display. It does not overwrite image data. Camera Control Opens the Camera Control window (see chapter 6.2). Convert Control BW (Color version not available) Opens the corresponding Convert Control windows (see 6.4.5). Zoom Changes the zoom used to display the image. Auto Range Peak/Crop Displays the image in a predefined scaling (see chapter 6.4.5). Auto Balance Color (not available for pco.flim) The white balance feature, which corresponds to the white balance button in the Convert Control Color (see chapter 6.4.5). Auto Exposure Auto Exposure feature (see chapter 6.4.3) Flip The image will be flipped before display. Mirror The selected image will be mirrored before display. Rotate The image will be rotated by 90° counter clockwise (left) or clockwise (right) before it is shown in the image window. Line Tool Select Line Tool to show a graph, which shows the intensity of the pixels under the red line shown in the image window. The selection of this menu item determines the location of the first point. After this you can move the mouse to the second point, which can be selected by a left click. Now a Line Diagram opens and the length of the line (unit: pixel) is shown in a bubble and displayed in the window. Copy To Clipboard Copies the active image to clipboard (only as 8 bit image file). . 31 6.4.9 ADDITIONAL FEATURES White Balance by Mouse In the same manner you can change the white balance. You only have to press the CTRL (Strg) and the shift button at the same time and select a white or gray area within the image. The pixel values within the coordinates of the rubber band window are used for calculating a new white balance. For best results we recommend to use the white balance button in the Convert Control Color (see 6.4.5) or the Auto Balance Color in the Local Menu (see 6.4.8) respectively. Fold Up Window 1 The Convert Control windows can be minimized / folded up 1. Just move the pointer over the bar and the window will unfold again 2 . 2 Setting Contrast Area by Mouse You can control the minimum and maximum values used for the conversion from 14 bit to 8 bit with the mouse. Move the mouse cursor into a region which should be shown with maximum contrast. Press the shift and the left mouse button. Hold down the mouse button while increasing the size of the rubber band window with mouse moves. After releasing the mouse button the coordinates of the rubber band window act as a border for calculating the minimum and maximum values. Setting a new ROI by Mouse In the same manner you can setup a new region of interest (see ROI 6.3.2) for the camera. You only have to press the CTRL (Strg) button and drag an area with the left mouse button instead of the shift button. The coordinates of the rubber band window are used for calculating a new region of interest, which will be adapted to the camera capabiliies automatically. You can reset the ROI to maximum by pressing the CTRL (Strg) button and the right mouse button. 32 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE The [email protected] software is a tool for image recording and analysis with a pco.flim camera system. Please install the [email protected] software from the PCO usb flash drive or download the latest version from Fish’n’Chips website. 7.1 START When double-clicked on the program icon the program starts with this start window, where the following main menu topics are present. The menu tabs are: Data Files (see 7.2) – Camera (see 7.3) and Licensing (see 7.5). 33 7.2 DATA FILES TAB The Data Files Menu processes stored image data sequences. It distinguishes between reference data, which can be loaded with the Load Reference button and measured data, which can be loaded with the Load Data button. Depending on the selection, additional information is required. Usually, before measured data can be evaluated, a reference data set should be loaded. 7.2.1 LOAD REFERENCE The main window has three operation areas: menu bar 1 , the control window 2 and file / data tree window 3 . 1 3 2 The main window shows the calculated intensity image in a normalized way, such that the value range is 0.0 – 1.0. Within the menu area some new fields appeared after loading the reference data file. Menu Bar 1 Now, next to the Load Reference button, a Remove Reference button appears. It removes the reference data from the program memory. The filename of the currently loaded reference file is also shown. Below the filename there is a checkbox for asymmetry correction. Here, the user has to tell the software whether the reference image sequence contains a second sequence for asymmetry correction. The default value of the checkbox is checked, so the software expects sequences containing additional images for asymmetry correction. Further, for the conversion of phase angle and modulation index values into valid fluorescence lifetime distributions, it is necessary to tell the software which modulation frequency [fmod] has been used and which is the known lifetime [τref] of the reference luminophore. The values can be typed in and the drop-down list beside the number fields allows to select the appropriate unit. 34 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE Control Window 2 The control window (column) allows for the adjustment of the processing and gives results and information of the active image. Lower / Upper Noise Level: On top there are two number fields which define so-called noise levels. Before the images are processed, the intensity image is pixel-wise compared with these levels, and pixels which are out of the given range (value is smaller than the lower noise level or larger than the upper noise level) are ignored and not used for calculation and processing. In the result images this is indicated by setting the pixel values to black or zero. Since the levels refer to the normalized intensity image, the range is always from 0.0 – 1.0. Cursor Size: The drop-down list right to the cursor size designator allows the selection of single pixel readout or the average value of a field of (3 x 3), (9 x 9) or (21 x 21) pixels. Min / Max Value: Below the noise levels there are two number fields which are named min and max with a push button with four arrows between them. These values scale the display of the image pixel values according to the value range of the active image (for intensity image from 0.0 – 1.0, for raw data from 0 – 16383, for lifetime distribution from 0.0 – x in [s] etc.). The settings change from active image to active image. The push button performs a sophisticated auto scaling which can lead to undesired behavior in case the noise levels were not properly chosen. Histogram with scaled grey or color wedge and cursor readout: The histogram below the minimum / maximum values shows the distribution of the values of the active image within the defined minimum / maximum range. Below the histogram the corresponding grey or color wedge is displayed, which is like a horizontal grey or color bar. The line, which points down to further values, is the readout of the cursor, located in the active image. The values given below the histogram correspond to the x–y–coordinates of the cursor in the active image, and the bold value is either the cursor readout or the average of the selected area around the cursor, which is defined by the cursor size selection. It can be a single pixel value or the average of a field of (3 x 3), (9 x 9) or (21 x 21) pixels. The standard deviation is given as σ value. File Tree Window 3 In this window (column) all loaded image files, processed images and live images are listed and can be selected. The selected image is displayed as active image in the central window, and the control and readout values from the control column relate to this active image. Each of the raw images can be selected as well as the calculated and referenced images, if exist, and can be made active for display. First the filename is displayed or Live if it is a live image. Then all the raw images of the sequence can be selected if the list is unfolded by clicking on the arrow. 35 Below the raw images the relevant calculated images are listed: Intensity – Modulation (index) distribution – Phase (angle) distribution. -1 -2 -3 -4 Raw Images Intensity Modulation Index Phase Angle 1 2 3 4 36 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE 7.2.2 LOAD DATA If a data file is loaded some elements are added to the Menu bar. Menu Bar Add Ons As in the case that reference data is loaded, the filename of the measured data is displayed and a checkbox is added to tell the software whether the data images have been recorded with a second sequence for asymmetry correction or not. The default value of the checkbox is checked, meaning that the software initially expects sequences with images for asymmetry correction. Further, an additional button has appeared for the removal of the data from the program memory. File Tree Window Now, the files or images from the Load Data event are shown in the file tree window. The raw images can be selected, as well as the calculated images, as for the reference data, and a new section appears called Results. In the Results the calculated and referenced images are presented. This means that the modulation index and the phase angle distribution images have now referenced values, which can be converted into luminescence lifetime distributions each. Further, the modulation index as the magnitude of a vector or phasor and the phase angle as its angle can be displayed in one plot, the phasor plot, which is a type of Nyquist plot. Modulation Lifetime This is the luminescence lifetime distribution derived from the referenced distribution of the modulation indices per pixel. 37 Phase Lifetime This is the luminescence lifetime distribution derived from the referenced distribution of the phase angle per pixel. Phasor Plot This is a Nyquist plot where each pixel represents a vector with a magnitude given by the referenced modulation index and an angle towards the x-axis given by the referenced phase angle. 38 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE 7.2.3 EXPORT RESULTS When the Export Results button is pressed, the following dialog window pops up: The Folder Button allows selecting a different directory for storing the results with an additional file manager dialog. In case the calculations have been repeated with another reference file, and the old results are not required any longer, it is possible to check the checkbox overwrite existing files without notice, such that the old files with the same filename are overwritten. The suggested base filename for the result files is the original data filename without extension. It can be edited and changed by an input into the text window beside base filename. The file tree window shows all calculated images: Reference: Intensity – Modulation – Phase Data: Intensity – Modulation – Phase Results: Modulation – Phase – Modulation Lifetime – Phase Lifetime – Phasor Plot If the higher level checkbox is checked, the lower level files are all checked automatically. All checked files/images will be stored as TIFF-Files containing floating numbers, so they become images with non-typical image content. Software like Matlab and ImageJ can process these value distributions. The filenames are created as the combination of the base filename plus the corresponding name in the file tree window. 39 7.3 CAMERA MENU When the program is started with a camera connected and running, the [email protected] program opens with this window with the Camera Menu selected. 7.3.1 MENU BAR The menu bar has the following elements: 7.3.2 FIND CAMERA The magnifying glass button is helpful, in case the camera is switched on after the program has been started or if for some reason the camera has been switched off or disconnected while the program is running. If pressed, the program scans for connected and available cameras. In case the program has found a camera, next to the magnifying glass a text describes which camera is connected via which interface and the serial number (which is relevant for the licensing). In this case: a pco.flim connected to USB 3.0 serial 1090013. Next to the right, two gear wheel buttons follow, which serve to unfold different configuration tabs. 40 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE 7.3.3 SEQUENCE CONFIGURATION TAB 1 NOTE Relative Phase: This feature is only available in the special case the phase number (see below) has been set to manual and the camera is in recording state. Here all control settings for the measurement of 3 2 Frequency Domain FLIM can be made. There are three sub sections presented: Modulation – Phase Sequence – Image Processing. Modulation 1 Here the relevant settings for the internal direct digital synthesizer, the modulation signal generation, can be made. Source Select: The dropdown list offers either an “internal” modulation signal generation or an external modulation signal input. Output Waveform: The dropdown list offers none for no signal output, sinusoidal for a sinusoidal output signal or rectangular for a rectangular output signal shape. Master Frequency: The input window allows for the numerical input (as integer) of the desired modulation frequency in the range from 5 kHz to 40 MHz, while the dropdown list allows for the selection of the corresponding frequency unit: Hz, kHz and MHz. Relative Phase: This allows the manual control of the phase angle shift between image sensor modulation signal and the modulation output signal to an external device. The values should be in degrees. Phase Sequence 2 Phase Number: The dropdown list enables the selection of the number of phase angles per modulation period (360°), which shall be measured in a data sequence for the reconstruction of the sinusoidal or higher harmonic signal, which is detected: 2 – 4 – 8 – 16. Phase Symmetry: The dropdown list allows the selection of singular or twice. This is the main selection if a single sequence (singular) shall be recorded or a second sequence (twice) is appended with opposite phase angles in the taps A and B, if the asymmetry correction should be performed by either the camera or the PC. Phase Order: This selection is only relevant if the Phase Symmetry is set to twice. It defines if the inverse (opposite) measurements are made either as consecutive reverse sequence, such that a first normal sequence is recorded and then the reverse (appended) sequence, or as consecutive revers pair, which means that the reverse measurement is made directly after the corresponding dual tap read out image. Tap Select: This dropdown list selects whether tap A, tap B or both taps are readout. Image Processing 3 Asymmetry Correction: Here it can be selected if the camera shall perform the asymmetry correction internally. If off is selected from the dropdown list, the camera does not perform the asymmetry correction internally. One has to take care, that the asymmetry correction checkbox in the Load Data Section of the [email protected] program is unchecked, when loading data recorded and saved with the internal correction option set to on, since the correction has been already made by the camera. 41 7.3.4 EXPOSURE TIME / NUMBER OF IMAGES Exposure time [ms]: With the numerical input into this window, the exposure time for a double (both taps) or a single (tap A or tap B) image is set in milliseconds. Number of images: displays the number auf recorded images; can bet set by the Sequence Configuration Tab 7.3.3 7.3.5 FUNCTION BUTTONS Record Sequence Button 1 If pressed 1 one complete data sequence is recorded by the camera using the corresponding settings from the configuration tabs. The image data are directly displayed, and if a reference data set has been loaded or recorded prior to that, the result images are calculated as well. Additionally the total number of recorded images is displayed to the left of this action button. 3 All the recorded and calculated images are listed in the File Tree Window on the left. Since the recorded data have not been saved yet, they are named as Live data with the normal names of calculated images and result images. By selecting the desired image 3 in the file tree, this image is made active and displayed in the main window. 4 While recording a small preview window 4 is shown in the left column. 42 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE Preview Image Toggle Button If pressed, it sets the camera back to a continuous dual tap but single image recording at the defined exposure time. The button will be highlighted to indicate, that it has been turned on. During operation the live intensity image is always updated. This mode is useful for exposure time optimization and focusing of lenses or microscopes. When pushed again, it is deactivated and the original sequence configuration settings are loaded back to the camera. When the preview image toggle button is pressed, the live intensity image is updated continuously to facilitate adjustments of the optical setup or to figure out the optimum exposure time. Since the shortest possible sequence length is used here, this mode is well suited for focusing purposes. Save as Data Push Button If pressed, a save file dialog pops up, and the user can store the recorded image sequence as data. 43 Save as Reference Push Button If pressed, a save file dialog pops up, and the user can store the recorded image sequence as reference data. Thereupon, the reference image sequence appears in the File Tree Window on the left side with the defined filename. It is organized using the listing described above. NOTE Now the reference data set is used for referencing the following measurements and calculating the results. In order to obtain valid lifetime information the user has to define the known lifetime of the reference by switching to the Data Files menu and typing in the lifetime with the appropriate time unit. 44 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE 7.4 VIEW MENU 2 1 3 The View menu allows the user to control and select the displayed images and corresponding information windows ranging from single to multiple image display. The zoom level can be set to Original Size or the whole image can be fitted to the display window (Fit to Window). The menu bar has the following options. Image orientation: 3 selectable orientation - Up (standard) – Right – Down - Left Modes There are two display modes available, Single Image and Multiple Images 1 . If Single Image is selected, there is one image displayed at a time (either in Original Size or Fit to Window zoom stage 2 ). 5 The image selection is activated by clicking on the appropriate image name in the File Tree Window on the left side. 4 The selected image is highlighted by a light grey background behind the name. On the right side the Control Column 54 can be used to adjust the scaling of the image, control cursor size and read values at the current cursor position. 4 45 Effect of the Noise Levels in the Images The left image shows the phase angle distribution of a bright data image with the lower noise level set to 0 and the high noise level set to 1, which means everything is visible. The right image shows the effect of setting the lower noise level to 0.05 (it is in units of the normalized intensity image: 0.0 – 1.0). Most of the surrounding noise of the fluorescing cell is now suppressed. If the signal is too bright, i.e. the mean intensity becomes more than approximately 0.5, clipping will appear. Although the image itself is not overexposed, derived values from bright parts might already be clipped, such that modulation index and phase angle start to distort. If now the upper noise level is set to 0.5, the parts of the image exhibiting a too large signal are suppressed. This can be seen by means of the black area within the sample, indicating that the significantly different phase angle in this area, which is reddish in the left image, is more an artefact. 46 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE Multiple Images In case Multiple Images has been selected, several images can be displayed in the image area at once (in the example with the Original Size zoom factor 5 ). 5 Now in the File Tree column checkboxes appear to the left of each image, such that the user can select those images, which should be displayed 6 . Depending on the total number of selected images the available space in the image area is subdivided to display all the images (maximum of eight images), such that the maximum space is used for each image. 6 The following image shows an example with six images displayed simultaneously. 47 Using the Multiple Windows selection, each of the selected images has a corresponding histogram with a scale bar for scale adjustments in the Control Column on the right side, where all correspondences can be identified by the titles of the images and the histograms 7 . 7 The crosshair of the cursor in the current image is displayed in white color 8 while the corresponding position in all other images is displayed in black 9 . Nevertheless in all images (except the phasor plot) the values at the same cursor positions are read and displayed below the corresponding histograms. 9 8 9 8 48 7. [email protected] SOFTWARE Zoom Two different zoom factors are available: the Original Size which corresponds to a pixel by pixel representation of the measured image as can be seen for Single- and Multiple- windows: Or the images are fitted to the available image space, when Fit to Window has been selected, as it is shown for Single and Multiple windows: 49 7.5 LICENSING MENU The last menu is the Licensing menu, which informs the user which license for [email protected] has been activated and offers the possibility to request or to import a license file in case the computer has no web access. 1 Active License The text field gives information about the name of the user and his affiliation, type of license (per PC or per camera) and expiration date, if exists 1 . Request License If the Request License Button 22 is pressed, the following window pops up 33 . 3 The program gathers required information about the computer and sends it to the company Fish’n-Chips, the originator of the [email protected] software. With this information a license file is created and uploaded to the computer. In case there is no access to the internet a text file with the required computer or camera information is created and the user is asked to send it to a provided e-mail address to receive the license file via e-mail. 2 Import License File In case the user has received a license file, it has to be imported. By pressing the Import License File button a file manager dialog opens. Here the user has to switch to the directory where the license file has been stored. By selecting the license file and pressing open (öffnen) 4 the license will be directly processed by the program. 4 50 APPENDIX A1 TECHNICAL DATA 52 A1.1 MECHANICAL DIMENSIONS 52 A1.2 DATA SHEET 53 A1.3 REVERSE OF THE PCO.FLIM 54 A2 USB 3.0 56 A2.1 HARDWARE RECOMMENDATIONS 56 A2.2 INSTALLATION OF THE USB 3.0 CARD 58 A3 WATER COOLING PCO.AQUAMATIC II 59 A3.1 SYSTEM COMPONENTS 59 A3.2 FIRST TIME INSTALLATION 60 A3.3 OPERATION 61 A3.4 DIMENSIONS 62 A4 IMAGE FILE FORMATS 63 A5 CUSTOMER SERVICE 65 A5.1 SERVICE 65 A5.2 MAINTENANCE 65 A5.3 RECYCLING 65 A5.4 TROUBLE SHOOTING 66 A6 INDEX 67 ABOUT PCO 68 51 A1 TECHNICAL DATA A1.1 MECHANICAL DIMENSIONS pco.flim watercooled version All dimensions given in millimeter. Input Window Filter The input window of the pco.flim camera contains a standard coating (providing better light transmission). 52 A1 TECHNICAL DATA A1.2 DATA SHEET image sensor type of sensor image sensor resolution (h x v) pixel size (h x v) sensor format / diagonal shutter mode fullwell capacity readout noise dynamic range quantum efficiency spectral range dark current DSNU PRNU camera max. frame rate (full frame, full resolution) modulation frequency CMOS proprietary 1008 x 1008 5.6 µm x 5.6 µm 5.7 mm x 5.7 mm / 8.1 mm rolling reset / global exposure 45 000 e- (typical) 45e- rms (typical) > 1000:1 (60 dB) appr. 39 % @ peak visible (tbd) 1100 e- / (s.pixel) 49 e- rms 0.7 % 90 fps (2 tap readout) trigger output signals modulation signal output modulation signal input data interface internal 5 kHz – 40 MHz external 500 kHz – 40 MHz sinusoidal / rectangular 10 ns – 10 s 14 bit 3.2 e- count steps of 16 x 1 pixel + 5 °C <1% exposure start (phase sequence trigger) exposure, busy, gate (light enable) 1 V peak peak in 50 Ω , AC coupled max. ± 5V in > 1 k Ω USB 3.0 general power supply power consumption weight ambient temperature operation humidity range storage temperature range optical interface CE / FCC certified 90 – 260 VAC (12 VDC optional) 40 W max. 2.4 kg + 5 °C to + 40 °C 10 % - 90 % (non-condensing) - 20 °C to +70 C-mount yes modulation signal shape exposure / shutter time dynamic range A/D A/D conversion factor region of interest (ROI) thermoelectrical cooled nonlinearity trigger input signals 53 A1.3 REVERSE OF THE PCO.FLIM Power Input 12V 1 5 Camera Link A & B Connectors (not available) 2 4 7 1 USB 3.0 connector 3 3 6 Power switch (on/off) 4 2 Status LEDs 5 If you turn on your camera 3rd LED (yellow) will light up. After about 10 s 1st LED (green) will light up and the orange one will disappear, that means: camera status ready. After start-up of software (camera recieves settings from Camware) 2nd LED (orange) will light up. While recording is in progress 2nd LED (orange) flashes permanently. If an error occurs, a red LED lights up permanently. The Trigger connector 6 is a Hirose HR10-7R-6S (73). Pin Assignment Pin 1 2 3 4 5 6 Description Not used Trigger Not used Exposure Busy Ground Pin Position type level coupling current 6 Inputs (Trigger) digital 3.3. V LVTTL (5V tolerant) DC 1kOhm 54 1 Outputs (Exposure, Busy) digital 3.3 V LVTTL DC Max. 100mA (short-term) A1 TECHNICAL DATA BNC Connectors: 7 BNC Connector 1: Modulation Output type frequency amplitude coupling impedance waveform analog 5 kHz-40 MHz 1Vp-p (in 50 Ohm) AC 50 Ohm sinusiodal, rectangular, off BNC Connector 2: Modulation Input type frequency amplitude coupling Impedance waveform analog 5 kHz-40 MHz Max +- 5V AC > 1 kOhm sinusiodal, rectangular, off BNC Connector 3: Light Source Enable (Gate) type level coupling current digital 3.3 V TTL DC Max 100 mA (short-term) Timing & Signals busy = TRUE: busy = FALSE: exposure = TRUE: camera is recording or sensor readout in progress external trigger is ready to accept exposure of image sensor In Auto Sequence trigger mode the busy signal is always set to TRUE, while the exposure signal indicates the real exposure of the image sensor. In External Exp. Start trigger mode the camera is ready to accept a new trigger signal on PIN #2 (trigger) when the busy signal is set to FALSE. After a successful trigger event the busy signal stays TRUE until the exposure is finished and the image is completely read out. 55 A2 USB 3.0 A2.1 HARDWARE RECOMMENDATIONS The pco USB 3.0 interface is based on the Cypress EZ-USB FX31 device and it is compatible to pco software such as Camware and SDK. To run a pco USB 3.0 camera successfully the user should consider a number of important issues that are discussed in the following chapters. Motherboard and Chipset Configuration It is recommended to use a Motherboard with a state of the art USB 3.0 host controller for the onboard USB 3.0 ports. The latest generation of USB 3.0 xHCI host controllers manufactured by Intel, Renesas (NEC), Fresco, Via Labs, ASMedia and Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) are tested by Cypress Semiconductor Corporation. (see Cypress EZ-USB® FX3TM SDK Release Notes, Version 1.2.3, chapter 1.3). Currently pco recommends only motherboards with the following onboard xHCI host controllers: • Renesas/NEC μPD720202 Host Controller • Intel® USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller If the motherboard does not have an onboard USB 3.0 port or the onboard USB 3.0 port does not work properly with a pco USB 3.0 camera, please use an independent PCIe USB 3.0 extension card. In this case, pco recommends the following: • DELOCK 89348 (U3-PCIE1XG202-10) PCIe 1x (μPD720202 host controller) (This board is sent with your pco.flim USB 3.0 camera system as standard) • DELOCK 89325 (U3X4-PCIE4XE101) PCIe 4x (μPD720202 host controller) USB 3.0 extension card with xHCI4 host controller The following companies manufacture USB 3.0 xHCI host controller: • Renesas Electronics America Inc. (earlier NEC), • Texas Instrument Inc., • VIA Labs Inc (Diamond), • Fresco Logic Inc., • Intel Inc., • AMD Inc. and • Etron Technology, Inc. NOTE To determine suitable manufacturers of the xHCI controller, please use the Windows Device Manager. For example, in Windows 7 drop down the USB Controller entry and find the USB 3.0 host xHCI controller of the USB 3.0 device in the sub-tree. Then right-click to open the properties dialog, click the details tab, and choose Vendor in the properties pull-down box. 56 A2 USB 3.0 The following table gives an overview about tested recommended system configurations or hardware components. and Component Recommendation Motherboard There is no recommendation for a manufacturer. But if an onboard USB 3.0 port is used, the Renesas´s xHCI host controller μPD720202 is recommended. • DELOCK 89348 (U3-PCIE1XG202-10) PCIe 1x (μPD720202 host controller), • DELOCK 89325 (U3X4-PCIE4XE101) PCIe 4x (μPD720202 host controller) USB 3.0 extension card PCIe Slot A PCIe 4x, 8x or 16x slot is recommended. USB 3.0 Cable USB 3.0 cable included in the packaging of your pco USB 3.0 camera USB 3.0 Hub Not recommended Operating System Windows XP 32 Bit, Win7 32 Bit / 64 Bit, Win8 32 Bit / 64 Bit Multiple pco USB 3.0 cameras connected to a PC A separate DELOCK 89348 (U3-PCIE1XG202-10) extension card for each camera should be used to guaranty maximum data throughput of each camera. FOL adapter See Fehler! Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden. Recommended Software Components The pco USB 3.0 driver supports Windows 7/8 (x86 or x64) and Windows XP x86 operating systems. Microsoft does not support USB 3.0 natively for Win 7 or older Windows versions. Therefore use the manufacturers’ supplied xHCI host controller driver. By contrast, in Windows 8 Microsoft does provide a native generic xHCI Driver but pco recommends using the driver from the corresponding manufacturer of the xHCI host controller. Currently there are seven different vendors producing USB 3.0 host controllers: • • • Renesas Electronics America Inc. (earlier NEC) Texas Instrument Inc. Intel Inc. • • • • VIA Labs Inc (Diamond), Fresco Logic Inc. AMD Inc. Etron Technology, Inc. Please make sure that the most recent driver from the manufacturer is installed before a pco USB 3.0 camera is connected to a USB 3.0 port of your computer. The appropriate driver for the USB 3.0 port could be loaded from the website of the manufacturer of the USB 3.0 host xHCI controller; or from the website of the USB 3.0 extension card vendor. The current driver of the extension card included in the packaging of your pco USB 3.0 camera is added to the pco.USB stick delivered with each pco.flim. . NOTE To determine the driver currently in use for the xHCI controller, use the Windows Device Manager. For example in Win 7, drop down the USB-Controller entry and find the USB 3.0 host xHCI controller of the USB 3.0 device in the sub-tree. Then right-click to open the Properties dialog, click the driver tab and choose driver details Before the pco.flim USB 3.0 camera is connected to the computer the pco USB 3.0 Driver has to be installed. (see 4.1) Please visit the support section of our website to get the latest USB 3.0 camera driver. 57 A2.2 INSTALLATION OF THE USB 3.0 CARD An external USB 3.0 Host Controller Card is enclosed to each pco.edge USB 3.0 camera. Hardware Installation First shut down your computer and install the USB 3.0 Host Controller. Hardware Installation must be performed by a technician, because high voltages can occur on the device. WARNING ELECTRIC SHOCK WARNING DUE TO VOLTAGE PARTS INSIDE Risk of injury due to electrical shock. Always pull the main plug before opening the computer. Driver Installation Instructions • Within the provided installation files USB_HBA, open the folder U3X4-PCIE4XE101, U3X4-PCIE1XE101, U3-PCIE1XG202. • Open the subfolder Driver and run RENESAS-USB3-Host-Driver30230-setup.exe. • If your current OS is Win7/8 and the User Account Control is enabled, a dialog could occur asking, if you wish to launch the setup: Accept with Yes. •1 At first the installation is prepared. •2 Secondly the software components are copied automatically. •3 Finally the installation is completed and the Delock USB 3.0 extension card can be used. 1 2 3 58 A3 WATER COOLING PCO.AQUAMATIC II A3 WATER COOLING PCO.AQUAMATIC II A3.1 SYSTEM COMPONENTS This is the re-cooling system for pco cameras with water-cooling. 1 2 3 5 4 Material No. Description 1 30108000211 pco.aquamatic II 2 30108000212 Connection Tube 5m PVC 3541-01 PCO (with Colder NS212 fittings) 3 50402000055 Power supply 1.2m 4 20307500024 Power cable 5 10307000130 WAT camera cable 5m FGG-RG58- NC3MX 6 10305000190 Innovatec Protect IP 1L The operation of the pco.aquamatic is simple and uncomplicated. Normally no maintenance and nearly no attention are needed. Only the liquid level of the reservoir (water tank) should be controlled from time to time. 6 Only use Innovatec Protect IP for the pco.aquamatic! Do not use or add any other cooling liquid or normal water! If you need to add cooling liquid in order to maintain level in the tank, please contact PCO for additional supply. The cooling liquid will turn yellow after some hours of operation. This is normal and no sign of wear or malfunction. The optimum pH-value is between 8 and 9 (please check this value if you are concerned about the cooling liquid quality). NOTE The recommended service interval for the change of the cooling liquid is four years. 59 A3.2 FIRST TIME INSTALLATION 5 3 4 2 Please take care to situate the unit on a flat and firm surface. Do not cover the air intakes of the unit. Please ensure free airflow around the pco.aquamatic to ensure maximum cooling performance. All tubes and power cords need to run kink-free. Before installation of the unit carefully read the Innovatek Protect IP safety datasheet (see Innovatek Website). outlet flow inlet flow Please follow steps 1 – 6. 1. 1 Connect tubes to cooling unit and camera. The two arrows on the housing of the cooling unit only indicate flow direction. Either connection of the camera can be used for in or out. 2. 2 Attach power connection. 3 Open tank cover. 3. 4 Turn power switch to on position (I). 4. •5 Slowly fill in the cooling application mixture while the unit is running, you have to constantly refill liquid. •6 While the cooling liquid flows back to the reservoir make sure that the whole air escapes from the system – this takes a few minutes (move hoses if necessary). The cooling liquid reservoir (tank) is filled when liquid level is approximately 1-2 cm from the top of the tank. The integrated pump only works when the pump chamber is completely filled. To ensure this please move hoses or remove air by evacuating. Reservoir capacity is approximately 500 ml. After steps 1 – 6 are completed successfully the system is ready for operation. NOTE The hose connectors are waterproof in not connected state. Maybe they lose one drop of cooling liquid from time to time. You don’t have to empty the hoses while storing the camera system. 60 A3 WATER COOLING PCO.AQUAMATIC II A3.3 OPERATION First connect the power out of the cooling unit with the power in of the pco.flim camera by using the PCO WAT camera cable. Or you can use separate power supplies for camera and aquamatic The cooling unit provides two operation modes. Operation Mode on: the cooling unit is turned on permanently and provides the camera with power. Your camera can be switchted on and off as needed. Operation mode follow: the cooling unit will turn on when the camera is switched on and vice versa. Error Codes The coolant temperature sensor is located in the water tank. Temperature 27°C 36°C 55°C 60°C Action fan turns off fan turns on warning message error message If a warning level is passed, the Power LED blinks slowly and the Error LED displays the error code. If a failure level is passed, the Power LED blinks fast and the Error LED shows the error code. Error / Failure on 1Hz flash 2Hz flash off one short flash 1Hz flash two short flashes one short flash none Warning when temperature at 55 °C (also if sensor is defect or missing) Failure when temperature at 60 °C Fan speed (also if a high deviation of the standard value is reached) NOTE The camera has its own protection circuit and will shut down automatically when the electronics temperature exceeds safety level. 61 A3.4 DIMENSIONS All dimensions are given in millimeter. Weight: 4kg (completely filled cooling liquid tank) General Information You are not restricted to purchase the pco.aquamatic system - it is possible to use an own water cooling solution. A separate power supply will be provided to every pco.flim camera with water connectors. The hardware of the pco.flim cameras with USB 3.0 Interface is designed to work with or without a water cooling system, because a fan that provides adequate cooling is inside the camera anyway. In case you use an own water cooling system, please make sure that the liquid you use to cool your camera is at all times NEVER below the dew point of the ambient temperature! In order to avoid any appearance of condensation, use a cooling liquid at room temperature. A liquid flow rate of 1–2 litres per minute is sufficient. 62 A4 IMAGE FILE FORMATS A4 IMAGE FILE FORMATS There are different file formats available for saving camera images with Camware. b16 The b16 16 bit format is similar to the bmp format. However, 16 bit pixel values are used instead of 8 bit pixel values. The file format consists either of a Basic Header (6 Long-parameter) or of an Extended Header (32 Long-parameter), the latter of which is optionally for additional information. There might follow a variable comment field (ASCII code). Finally, there is the actual data set that is saved linearly (as in the case of BMP files). With the exception of the first value, all parameters are Long Integers (4 Byte). The first 6 parameters must always exist. The rest of the parameters, as well as the comment field, are optional. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Parameter PCOfile size header length image width image height extended header color mode b/w min b/w max b/w linlog Function the first 4 byte are the characters PCOfile size in byte header size + comment filed in byte image width in pixel image height in pixel -1 (true), extended header follows 0 = black/with camera, 1 = color camera black/white LUT-setting, minimum value black/white LUT-setting, maximum value black/white LUT-setting, 0 = linear, 1 = logarithmic red LUT-setting, minimum value red LUT-setting, maximum value green LUT-setting, minimum value green LUT-setting, maximum value blue LUT-setting, minimum value blue LUT-setting, maximum value color LUT-setting, 0 = linear, 1 = logarithmic 11 red min 12 red max 13 green min 14 green max 15 blue min 16 blue max 17 color linlog 18 internal use 266 Comment file in ASCII characters with variable length of 0…XX. The length of the comment filed must be documented in the header length field. 16 bit pixel data line 1, pixel 1 line 1, pixel 2 … value of the first pixel value of the second pixel … We recommend that all images should be saved first in the b16 or TIFF format. The advantage is to have the b16 or tiff images available all the time. You will always have the maximum 16 bit information. Please note that not all image analysis programs can accommodate 16 bit data. The 8 bit format saves only the information displayed on the monitor screen. The 16 bit information will be lost and cannot be displayed later. pcoraw This 16 bit PCO file format is based on the new BigTIFF format, thus allowing for file size > 4GB. A new PCO proprietary compression scheme is added in case it is necessary 63 Standard File Formats TIFF Tag Image File Format, version 6.0 and lower. There is a 16bit monochrome and color image format. BMP Windows Bitmap Format, b/w or color 8 bit format-images, which have been saved in BMP format can be loaded later only as 8 bit images, i.e. part of the original information (16 bit) is lost. FTS Flexible Image Transport System, Version 3.1. There is a 16 bit image format. The NASA/Science Office of Standards and Technology (NOST) has defined this format. Some programs use the FIT extension for this format. ASCII 16 bit format, some mathematical programs prefer ASCII data. JPG JPEG (named after the Joint Photographic Experts Group who created the standard) is a commonly used method of lossy compression for photographic images. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JP2 JPEG 2000 is a wavelet-based image compression standard and coding system. It was created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group committee in the year 2000 with the intention of superseding their original discrete cosine transform-based JPEG standard (created 1992). AVI Audio Video Interleave is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video for Windows technology. MPG MPEG-1, similar to JPEG, is a standard for lossy compression of video and audio developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). WMV Windows Media Video (WMV) is a compressed video compression format for several proprietary codecs developed by Microsoft. The original video format, known as WMV, was originally designed for Internet streaming applications, as a competitor to RealVideo. 64 A5 CUSTOMER SERVICE A5 CUSTOMER SERVICE A5.1 SERVICE The camera is designed to operate with no need of special adjustments or periodic inspections. A5.2 MAINTENANCE CAUTION NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE UNPLUG CAMERA BEFORE CLEANING Risk of injury due to electric shock! Unplug the camera from any power supply before cleaning it. CLEANING Use a soft, dry cloth for cleaning the camera. Do not clean the input window unless it is absolutely necessary. Be careful and avoid scratches and damage to the input window surface. Do not use liquid cleaners or sprays. LENS CLEANING The lens is best cleaned with pressurized air or with liquid cleaners such as pure alcohol or with special optical cleaners that are available at high quality photo stores. Use a cotton swab dipped in pure alcohol or optical cleaning liquid and wipe only on the glass surface. Do not get any cleaning liquid on the metallic parts such as the lens thread, because tiny detached particles may scratch the surface. CLEANING LIQUIDS Aggressive cleaning liquids can damage your camera. Never use aggressive cleaning liquids such as gasoline, acetone, spirits or nitro cleanser. Every time the input window is cleaned, there is the possibility of surface damage. PROTECTIVE CAP Always store the camera with the protective cap or with a lens mounted to avoid dust and dirt on the input window. A5.3 RECYCLING If you want to dispose your camera, please send it to PCO or take it to a local recycling center. The camera includes electronic devices, which can contain materials harmful to the environment. These electronic devices must be recycled. 65 A5.4 TROUBLE SHOOTING If you have a question, which is not adequately addressed in this manual, please contact PCO or your local dealer. To speed your request, we need the following information: • • • • • • • • • • Short description of the problem Description of your application Camera settings Type and version of camera software being used Camera serial number Operating system (PC) Processor type (PC) Memory Graphic card Graphic card setup Please use the email options in the Help menu (see 6.4.7) How to create a logfile: • • • • • Enable log files: File Menu Options MISC (see 6.4.2.) Reboot your pco.flim Repeat the workflow which produces the faults. Open the About Camware window (Menu ? About) and click at the support links to send an email directly to PCO-Support (see 6.4.7) Or visit our website: http://www.pco.de/support Repair Before sending the camera for repair, first contact your local dealer or PCO respectively. When shipping the camera for repair, be certain to carefully pack the camera with proper shipping materials. If possible use the original packaging. Use the protection cap to protect the camera on the lens thread. Firmware, Software and Driver Update You will find all necessary software and drivers on the accompanying USB storage device. For the latest versions please check pco website. 66 A6 INDEX A6 INDEX NOTE: The mentioned page is always the starting page of a chapter! Important keywords Keyword Camware software Cooling Data file load Data sheet Demo mode (Camware) Dimensions Driver installation Help Image Processing Input / Output possibilities Licensing Logfile [email protected] software Maintenance Modulation Phase sequence Preview image Rear connections Record sequence Reference file load Recycling Reverse Safety instructions Save Results Sequence configuration Service Support Chapter 6 Page 12 A3 7.2.2 A1.2 6.4.1 A1.1 4 59 37 53 21 6.4.7 7.3.3 30 41 A1.3 7.5 6.9.7 7 A5.2 54 50 30 7.3.3 7.3.3 7.3.4 A1.3 7.3.4 7.2.1 A5.3 A1.3 2 7.2.3 7.3.3 A5.1 52 8 33 65 41 41 42 54 42 34 65 54 6 39 41 65 Time stamp Timing Trigger Mode A5.4 6.3.4 6.3.1 6.3.1 66 19 15 15 USB 3.0 View Menu Water cooling A2 7.4 A3 56 45 59 67 ABOUT PCO ABOUT PCO pco. In 1987, PCO was founded with the objective to develop and to produce specialized fast and sensitive video camera systems, mainly for scientific applications. Meanwhile the product range of PCO cameras covers digital camera systems with high dynamic range, high resolution, high speed and low noise, which are sold in the scientific and industrial market all over the world. Currently PCO is one of the leading manufacturers of scientific cameras. Worldwide representatives, together with our own sales department and technical support assure that PCO keeps in touch with our customers and their needs. The actual wide range of specialized camera systems is the result of technical challenge and product specific know-how. A design according to advanced techniques, a high standard of production and strict quality controls guaranty a reliable operation of the cameras. Our own developments in conjunction with an excellent contact to leading manufacturers of image sensors ensure our access to state-of-the-art CCD- and CMOS-technology for our cameras. Since 2001, PCO is located in its own facility building in Kelheim at the shore of the beautiful and international river Danube. Here in the county Bavaria, which is well known for its excellent support and conditions for high technology companies, we share the benefits of the simple access to high performance products and services in the surrounding area. Kelheim itself is a historical town, first documented in 866. The small city is founded at the confluence of the Danube and the Altmühl, which has been converted into the Rhine-Main-Danube bypass channel for water transport. Located in Danube-valley, it is the heart of a beautiful river and forest covered lime plateau landscape. It´s landmark, the Hall of Liberation, was built by Ludwig I. in 1863 on the Mount Michael and is visible from all over the city and valley. The beautiful Danube-Gorge, which is protected as natural monument since 1840, is located between Kelheim and the famous abbey Weltenburg. 68 pco.
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