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Headline: Overview

Efficient optical measurements

Todays demand for many optical applications is in research, development, production and quality control. As different topics as laser beam diagnostics, spectroscopy and measurements tasks of all kind have thereby one in common: optical data analysis with a CCD-linescan camera.

The linescan cameras offer

  • High resolution and long length.
  • Simple data processing:
  • i.e. edges or maximums, can be determined easily after the reading of a line.
  • Independence from video system frequencies and therefore freely selectable exposuretime.
  • Moved objects can be scanned linewise so that the 2nd dimension is recorded (scanner principle).
  • No need for extra mechanic moving parts.
  • Simple robustly system design and construction.
  • Simultaneously exposure of all pixel.

Easy interface technology:
The cameras contain the complete electronic and control circuits. The interface to the computer is 8 bit parallel, which is already available in many computer or embedded systems (i.e. printer interface). So the value of each pixel ('picture element') is transferred successively to the computer.

The advantages are:

  • Connection to all computer systems possible.
  • High data transfer rate directly to the main storage of the computer.
  • Pixel synchronous transfer:
  • because the sensor is clocked by the computer, the count synchronisation of the pixel index is -unlike video frequency systems- guaranteed up to the last pixel.
  • Low-priced computer interface without additional storage ('Frame Grabber')
  • Freely selectable exposuretime
The sensor functions like a chemical film: the interval between two readouts determines the exposuretime.

Application examples
Example 1   If the camera is mounted to a lens, objects can be measured directly without touching.

Here: Width determination of a cylindrical object. The smoothed values result from defocussing the lens.

Upper line: object blurred
Lower line: lens focus adjusted properly
Example 2   While working without lenses, silhouettes and laser reflections can give information of measuring parts.

Here: Metal thickness determination in a parallel laserbeam.

Example 3   When the camera is directly mounted to a Spectrometer a Spectrophotometer and analysis-system is realized,

Here: Spectra of a mercury lamp.

* On the vertical axis is the relative brightness with 8 bit resolution (0..255) plotted, on the horizontal axis the pixel number (picture element), that means the space coordinate in units of the pixel distance (here:12.7 µm).    
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