SciScan 1.4 Release Notes

New features:

Windows 10 compatibility

SciScan 1.4 now runs on LabVIEW 2018 and is fully compatible with the newest Windows 10 version.

Piezo Z Positioning (All systems)

The user has the option to define the Z-volume using the Piezo actuator instead of the stage. This is useful in applications that require an accuracy higher than what is achievable using the stage. The UI can be launched from ‘Plugins > Piezo z-positioning’.

Piezo Inertia Compensation (All systems)

For fast volume scans, the actual Piezo position could lag the Pockels cell waveform due to mechanical inertia. This can be compensated by shifting the waveform in time. The amount of shift required can be determined by observing the feedback signal from the Piezo and comparing it against the waveform of the Pockels cell, then adjusting the compensation until there is no phase difference between two waveforms.

New Overlay Option for Position Save Module (All systems)

The Position Save Module now has the option of a Red/Green and Red/Blue overlay.

Histogram (Galvo systems)

The histogram display now shows the unsigned 16-bit pixel values (after applying the necessary offset to acquired 16 data). The histogram values now reflect the saved data.

16-bit Scaling (Galvo systems)

With SciScan 1.4 there is now an option to scale 12-bit data acquisition on Galvo systems to 16 bits using a scalar multiplication factor. This scaling feature would be beneficial for any comparative experiments between resonant and galvo systems as resonant scanning also works with 16-bit data acquisition. The 16-bit scaling for galvo can be enabled or disabled in the scaling check box in the channels tab for galvo. There is no actual gain in resolution, as the Galvo DAQ hardware is still 12 bits).

Line Clock (Galvo systems)

The trigger tab for galvo scanning now has the option of the Line Clock feature via PFI12. It can be accessed from the trigger tab by selecting ‘Line Acq Clk (PFI12)’ and works for galvo scans with a fill fraction below 100%.

This can be used to trigger/synchronise other devices in the experiment. By default, the clock is high (at 5V) during pixel acquisition and low (at 0V) during discarded pixel-time.  

The Line Clock feature can be applied for both unidirectional and bidirectional galvo scanning.

Mirror Warmup feature (Resonant systems)

The X (resonant) scan mirror can be started before the actual acquisition so that the mirror frequency stabilises. This is useful for long acquisitions which could be affected by mirror frequency drift over time.

There is a new GFG variable which controls the delay for acquisition start, to ensure that the resonant mirror has stabilised in cases where the user does not use the mirror warmup feature. This is called “res_warmup_delay_ms” (nested under frame.scan.settings), and has a default value of 600ms. Advanced users could choose to edit this field.

Bug fixes

  • Performance improvements and optimisation of the RGB overlay
  • Bug fixes for z-stack tasks running in Macro
  • The display palette (Red-Blue clipping) has been optimised for performance

Software requirements

a. LabVIEW2012 Version
b. LabVIEW2018 Full Development System (64bit) (NI Part number: 776670-35); LabVIEW Vision Development module 2018 (NI Part number: 777859-35); Visual Studio Express for Windows (2012); LibTIFF

Minimum PC specifications

Below is a known configuration for running SciScan. Components can be switched for lower specification pieces, but they may affect software performance.

  • Monitor: 24″ 1920×1080 – It is difficult to re-size LabVIEW programs, SciScan was written for this resolution and screen size.
  • Operating System:  Windows 7 64bit
  • Processor:  Six Core HT 3.5GHz Turbo CPU
  • Memory: 32GB
  • Graphics: 3GB NVIDIA® Quadro® K4000 or Similar
  • Galvo: Min 1x Full Length (30″) PCI slot, 1x PCIe slot required for secondary DAQ card
  • Resonant: 1x PCIe slot

Please note: Resonant scanning systems generate large quantities of data in a short period of time, large disk drives or solid-state drives are recommended and should be cleaned out regularly.

Download SciScan 1.4 here