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USB3.0 Line Scan Camera sets new standards for speed

USB-3.0-Zeilenkamera setzt neue Geschwindigkeitsmaßstäbe

The wide range of line scan cameras by Schäfter+Kirchhoff for industrial use includes monochrome line scan cameras with 512 to 8160 pixels as well as color line scan cameras with up to 3x7600 pixels.

The color line scan cameras with triple-line-sensors have proven to be very useful for high-resolution surface inspection e.g. in the wood and print industry. It is complemented by the new camera type SK22368GTOC-LA with 3×7456 pixels and a pixel size of 4.7×4.7 µm². The short sensor length of 35 mm allows choosing from a wide range of adequate objective lenses. The pixel frequency of this GigE color line scan camera is 120 MHz, maximum line frequency is 5,1 kHz.

For mobile applications the new lines scan camera type SK22500U3NEC-XC sets new standards concerning speed of data transfer for color line scan cameras. Its pixel frequency of 200 MHz reaches a speed-level that could only be achieved by line scan cameras with CameraLink interface before.

All GigE and USB3.0 line scan cameras by Schäfter+Kirchhoff profit from the new all 64-Bit SDK, even the cameras with monochrome sensors. Besides libraries and examples it includes new functions e.g. for loading ICC-profiles, ensuring color fidelity for image acquisition. Integration into LabVIEW is supported using a VI-library.

World’s first USB 3.0 Line Scan Camera

Weltweit erste USB 3.0 Zeilenkamera

As a traditional manufacturer of line scan cameras Schäfter+Kirchhoff introduce their new USB 3.0 line scan camera series. The range of these USB Superspeed line scan cameras includes monochrome, color or TDI sensors with 512 to 8160 pixels (monochrome) or up to 3×7600 pixels (RGB). Pixel frequencies of up to 210 MHz allow for high speed high resolution image acquisition for scan and measurement applications. The use of modern technologies makes these cameras very low in noise. Using connectors with screw locks and the robust casing ensures full suitability for industrial applications. A Precise triggering of the image acquisition is achieved using the I/O ports.

The standardized USB 3.0 interface makes these cameras very easy to integrate into existing systems, while ensuring low system costs.

Drivers and a SDK with libraries and examples are supplied for customer programming. Integration into LabVIEW is supported using a VI-library. The software runs under Windows 7 (x64).


  • Surface inspection of wood, paper web, foils, metals, minerals und ores;
  • Edge pursuit, position control, measurement of diameters and gaps.

Low noise laser lines with reduced coherence length

Rauscharme Linienlaser mit reduzierter Kohärenzlänge

The new LNC-series low noise laser diode modules from Schäfter+Kirchhoff have reduced power noise, reduced coherence length and low speckle contrast (dependent on the measurement configuration) as a result of internal RF-modulation. The low noise (< 1% RMS, <1 MHz) and the mode-hopping free laser operation makes them ideal for particle measurements or advanced medical and biotechnological applications.

Laser diodes tend to show mode hopping, causing power noise and wavelength changes. To reduce mode hopping and power noise, Schäfter+Kirchhoff stimulates the low noise laser diode sources of the LNC-series to emit many modes simultaneously. That results in stable emitting conditions with reduced power noise (< 0.1% RMS) and reduced coherence length (<300µm).

The LNC-series low noise laser line generators are available in the wavelength range from 370 to 1550 nm. They are encased in rugged full-metal housings with integrated control and power electronics as well as connections for external modulation. Besides laser lines, that are available as micro lines (narrow lines with a Gaussian intensity profile across the laser line) and macro lines (at same working distance 2 to 5-times wider, depth of focus 7 to 35-times larger), Schäfter+Kirchhoff also offers low noise micro focus generators and laser diode collimators.


Laser line generators with computer interface for optical 3D measurement technology, production and quality control

Schäfter+Kirchhoff has developed and produced laser beam sources for over 25 years for use in basic research, in gas analysis, particle measurement, biotechnology, medical and space technology, as well as in automated quality inspection in industry. The laser line generators and other laser sources are now available with computer interfaces.

The laser diode beam sources cover the 370–2750 nm spectral range and are available in an industrial-grade metal housing, with integrated power and control inputs, and now also a computer interface. The RS232 or USB interface provides full control over the the laser power and allows the laser to be interrogated for its quality control and lifetime statistics, for download and storage. The hours of operation and the current consumption provide essential information about the possible degradation of the diode, allowing maintenance work or replacement to be planned accordingly. The electronics allows simultaneous digital (up to 250 kHz) and analog (10 Hz) modulation

Schäfter+Kirchhoff offers both laser micro and laser macro line generators, with the required laser line patterns generated using special optics, according to the particular application. The thin laser micro lines have a Gaussian intensity profile vertical to the line, while the wider macro line generators produce laser lines 2–5 wider times over the same working distance, but with an extended depth of focus (7 to 35-times more than that of the corresponding micro line).

Fiber Coupler with fine-focusing mechanism

Faserkoppler mit Feinfokussier-Mechanismus

The fiber coupler of type 60FC-F-… are characterized by a fine focusing mechanism using a knurled ring and fine thread as opposed to an eccentric key used for collimation of the standard collimators 60FC. The easy and highly defined adjustment of the focal setting ensures high coupling efficiencies even when the divergence or the wavelength of the laser source used varies.

The collimating lens in the fiber coupler 60FC-F is spring-loaded and is axially adjusted using a knurled ring and a thread with 0.5 mm pitch. A linear bearing ensures that the lens does not rotate when adjusting the focus - providing a high level of pointing stability. The focus setting can finally be locked using indirect clamping.

Fiber couplers of type 60FC-F are available with seven focal lengths and a variety of coatings with paraxial (FC-PC) or inclined coupling axis (FC-APC). They extend the wide range of fiber optic products offered by Schäfter+Kirchhoff including laser beam couplers, polarization-maintaining singlemode fibers, fiber optic beam splitters, vacuum feed-throughs or special collimators e.g. with integrated quarter wave plate or fiber collimators designed for SMA-905 high power connectors… more

Amagnetic Fiber Connectors, laser beam couplers and fiber collimators

Amagnetische Faserstecker, Laserstrahlkoppler und Faserkollimatoren

Schäfter+Kirchhoff now offers amagnetic fiber connectors (type FC) for polarization-maintaining fibers made completely out of titanium (including the spring) except from the ferrule, which is made from ceramics. This ensures that the relative permeability µr of the connector is near 1 (χ = 5•10-5), which makes it transparent relative to magnetic fields.

The homogeneity of a magnetic field or the flux lines and absolute value of the defined magnetic field used in the experiment or application is not perturbed by the fiber connector. Such highly defined magnetic fields are used for example in Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) or Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) experiments. Another application of amagnetic fiber optic components is the highly precise measurement of the magnetic field (magnetometer). Here, any perturbation of the magnetic field due to magnetic materials close to the set-up should be avoided since they cause disturbances in the magnitude of the determined magnetic field.

The amagnetic fiber connectors are available as type FC-APC or FC-PC. They are offered for singlemode or polarization-maintaining as well as multimode fiber cables and are also supplied for vacuum feed-throughs, casing feed-throughs and fiber optic beamsplitters. They extend the range of titanium fiber optic components offered by Schäfter+Kirchhoff including laser beam couplers and fiber collimators.

New, very light sensitive RGB color line scan cameras

Neue, sehr lichtempfindliche RGB-Farbzeilenkameras

The new, very light-sensitive color line scan cameras SK22800GJRC-XC and SK22800VJRC-XC are equipped with 3 × 7600  pixels (RGB) and include a Gigabit Ethernet interface. The maximum fixel frequency is 120 MHz, the maximum line rate is 4.93 kHz. A third new model, SK22800CJRC-XC is connected via Camera Link to a frame grabber and controlled by it. Pixel frequencies up to 150 MHz (3 × 50 MHz) allow line rates of 6.17 kHz.

The first mentioned camera is programmed with a proprietary software development kit (SDK), the second can be controlled with any GigE Vision compliant software, while the third camera is programmed via the SDK of the grabber manufacturer.

Applications are particularly the high-resolution surface inspection, e.g. in the wood and printing industries.


Lasers for Nanometrology

Laser für die Nanomesstechnik

Laser diode beam sources of type 51nanoFCM-… have reduced power noise, reduced coherence length and low speckle contrast as a result of the internal RF modulation. The laser diode beam source 51nanoFCM-… is typically used for atomic force microscopie (AFM) and as a pilot laser during alignment applications.

In addition to the reduced power noise, reduced coherence length and low speckle contrast of the laser diode beam source 51nanoFCM-…, the 51nanoFI-… features an integrated Faraday Isolator to protect laser sources from back reflection („optical diode“). Radiation coupled back to a laser diode leads to mode hopping, noise, frequency instability, and decrease of lifetime. more...

Fiber Connectors with End Caps

Faseranschlüsse mit End Cap

The maximum optical power that can be transmitted by a singlemode fiber is limited by a number of limiting effects, including Brillouin scattering and the tweezer effect.

A limiting feature of the fiber cable is the fiber end-face, which can be destroyed by optical power that is too high. The maximum power rating depends not only on the cleanliness of the fiber end-face [A] but also on the power density at the fiber end-face.

Schäfter+Kirchhoff now offers fiber cables with end caps, where the fiber is terminated by a core-less fiber approx. 300 µm long [B]. Within this section, the radiation is not guided and it diverges to about 10 times the fiber mode field diameter.

The power density at the fiber endface is diminished by a factor of 100. The numerical aperture of a fiber is not affected by an end cap. The fibers with end caps are assembled in an identical manner to the standard fiber connectors of type FC-APC and, so, can be used with all 60SMS-1-4-… laser beam couplers and 60FC-x-4-… fiber collimators from Schäfter+Kirchhoff.

End Cap Order Options

End Caps on both ends:
APC/ECFC-APC connectors with end caps on both sides
OPC/ECFC-PC connectors with end caps
XPC/ECone end FC-APC, other end FC-PC, both with end cap
End Cap on one end:
APC-APC/ECFC-APC connectors with end cap on one side
APC-OPC/ECone end FC-APC, other end FC-PC with end cap
OPC-APC/ECone end FC-PC, other end FC-APC with end cap
OPC-OPC-ECFC-PC connectors with end cap on one side

Polarization Analyzer SK010PA-…

Polarisationsanalysator SK010PA-…

The polarization analyzer SK010PA-VIS / NIR is a universal measurement and test system for laser beam sources with polarization-maintaining fiber optics that was developed for ease of use. A plug & play device that connects to the USB port of a standard computer.

Alignments and measurements are performed rapidly, especially in comparison with tedious and highly time-consuming standard methods. A real-time interactive display shows the state of polarization and the oscillating axis of the linearly polarized fraction, as well as the orientation of the connector index should a fiber cable be attached.

The radiation coupled to the polarization analyzer is collimated and passed through a rotary quarter-wave plate and a polarizer. The signal from the photo detector and the rotary angle are evaluated by an onboard chip and transferred via the USB port to the computer. more…


Laser Sources for Metrology and Machine Vision

Laser Sources for Metrology and Machine Vision

Laser diode based light sources are widely used for high precision measurement and inspection systems

Laser triangulation, also called laser light sectioning, is the most common appli cation of a laser line. It is a 3D measuring technique for determining a profile at a predefined incident section. The imaging camera is mounted directly perpendicular to the scanned object. It measures the lateral displacement and distortion of the incident laser line projected at an angle onto the object. The recorded camera image contains all of the height information obtained from the section defined by the incident laser beam, which is then decoded to provide the 3D height profile as the object passes through the laser line camera detection system. more...

Source: Optik & Photonik, Volume 11 Issue 2 (April 2016), p. 31–34

Broadband Polarization-maintaining Fiber Optics

Broadband Polarization-maintaining Fiber Optics

RGBV beam combiner enables TIRF microscopy of motor proteins

Modern fluorescence microscopy allows the fundamental building blocks of all life to be studied at a level of detail and accuracy that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago. One example is the movement of intracellular motor proteins responsible for muscle contraction or for the transport of biological cargo along microtubules within the cell. To study these systems using fluorescence microscopy, laser light over a wide range of wavelengths is required that has to be coupled precisely into the microscope. With free-beam optics, this can only be done to a limited extent and at considerable cost. more...

Source: Optik & Photonik, Volume 10 Issue 5 (December 2015), p. 19–22

Weld Process Inspection

Weld Process Inspection

A visualization and monitor system for hot and molten metal processes such as welding and cutting

Welding in remote and hazardous conditions presents a demanding problem to the robotic systems developer, in particular if the process needs to be monitored in-situ. However, through proper application of a small suite of in-house optics and photonics technologies, Schäfter+Kirchhoff already has the solution to hand. more...

Source: Laser Technik Journal, June 2015, Volume 12, Issue 3, p. 63–65

Filiform Corrosion

Filiform Corrosion

Standardized analysis with the Large Area Scan Macroscope

The filiform scanner with integrated bright-field illumination by Schäfter+Kirchhoff generates high-contrast images of filiform corrosion, which can be analyzed objectively by a software, according to the ISO 21227-4 standard or any other customer-spezified norm. Within a few seconds quantifiable results can be obtained. more...

Source: inspect 3/2015, June 2015, p. 10–13

Rapid Microstructure Analysis of Polar Ice Cores

Rapid Microstructure Analysis of Polar Ice Cores

Analyzing past climates using the Large Area Scan Macroscope

With climate change and its implications for society and the Earth being a frequent topic in both politics and science, measurable data on the influence of mankind on current and past climate has become essential information for making predictions and decisions about future climate.

The polar ice sheet provides information about temperature, precipitation as well as gas and aerosol concentration as a unique depiction of climate throughout hundreds of thousands of years. The information obtained from ice cores enables future climatic events as well as general material properties of ice to be better understood. The longest ice core drilled in Antarctica has a length of 3,270 m and contains climate information dating back more than 800,000 years.

The rapid analysis (minimum scan time 3 s) provided by the large area scan macroscope with a resolution of 5 μm has proven to be an essential tool for analyzing the microstructures of ice cores, both in the field and in the laboratory. A stratigraphic image that supports dating the ice cores can be obtained using Intermediate Layer Core Scanner. more...

Source: Optik & Photonik, Volume 10 Issue 2 (April 2015), p. 32–35

Polarization-maintaining Fiber Optics

Polarization-maintaining Fiber Optics

Stable fiber-optic setups from the ultraviolet to the infrared

A stable measurement setup is fundamental for any successful measurement. A major cause of frustration and error is the need to continuously readjust optomechanical equipment because of continuous instabilities. The use of fiber optics has proven to increase both stability and convenience significantly when compared with standard free-beam setups. These modular, complex and self-contained setups also often increase laser safety and reduce the laser safety classification.

The defined interface between a laser source and the more sensitive environment of the measurement setup provides the physical separation that enables a mechanical and thermal decoupling, suppressing mutually negative effects. more...

Source: Optik & Photonik – Volume 8, Issue 3, pages 40–44, December 2014

Specialized Fiber Collimators

Specialized Fiber Collimators

To cool and trap atoms specially developed fiber collimators are used.

The general interest in the investigation of ultra-cold atoms and their distinct features has been constantly growing over the last few decades. Whereas in the beginning, the process of cooling down presented the major challenge, now the extraordinary features of these ultra-cold systems – for example Bose-Einstein-Condensates – motivate researchers worldwide to look closer than ever.

Source: Physics' Best, April 2014, p. 17–19

USB 3.0 Line Scan Cameras

USB 3.0 Line Scan Cameras

Industry-standard camera series with monochrome, color and TDI line sensors

USB 3.0 is currently a topic of intense interest in the image processing industry. While matrix cameras with USB 3.0 interface are already established on the market, USB 3.0 line scan cameras were not avaliable until recently. Their benefits include high optical resolutions, the free dimensioning of the picture height, the ability to synchronize every single line and the high speed of the sensors. more...

Source: Optik & Photonik – Volume 8, Issue 3, pages 34–37, September2013

Opto-mechanics for demanding fiber optic applications

Opto-mechanics for demanding fiber optic applications

Titanium components ensure long-term stable fiber coupling at short wavelengths.

A stabile measurement setup is fundamental for the success of an experiment, e. g. in quantum optics. A major cause of frustration and error is the need to continuously readjust opto-mechanical equipment. By using fiber optics, both stability and convenience are significantly increased compared with standard breadboard setups. A fiber port cluster, for example, can split the radiation from one or more light sources and distribute it on several polarization-maintaining output fibers with high efficiency. The assurance of stability in the opto-mechanics means that the full focus can be set on the experiment (and not the equipment). more...

Source: Physik-Jornal, Physics' Best 2013, April 2013, p. 14–16

Polarization Analyzer for Fiber Optics and Free Beam Applications

Polarization Analyzer for Fiber Optics and Free Beam Applications

State of polarization measurement, precise alignment of polarization-maintaining fibers and accurate adjustment of arbitrary states of polarization

The state of polarization plays an integral role in many optical measurement techniques. The defined adjustment and setting of the polarization as well as its precise measurement often is fundamental to further success. The polarization analyzer was developed for the precise coupling of linearly polarized light into polarization-maintaining fibers as well as for the setting of a well-defined state of polarization in free beam applications. The compact design with communication and power supply via USB facilitates its easy incorporation into already existing setups, whether used as a mobile measuring device or permanently built into an industrial routine. more...

Source: Optik & Photonik – Volume 8, Issue 1, pages 54–57, April 2013

Laser Line Generators for Light-sectioning in Rail Inspection

Laser Line Generators for Light-sectioning in Rail Inspection

3D-Measurement and process control for research and industrial environments

Modern measuring techniques often involve using lasers specifically designed for the demanding requirements of industrial tasks. An increasing number of laser diodes have become available in the green and blue region of the visible spectrum so that laser-diode based modules now cover the full range from UV to IR. A variety of beam-shaping techniques can be used to produce the particular beam profile necessary for a specific measuring task. One application is the continuous monitoring of rail profiles during rail production or of their deterioration in use by mounting the test system on the train itself. The geometry of the rail can be determined by using laser lines and the laser light-sectioning method. The in situ measurement of wear ensures that the repair of the affected rail sections is performed in time. more...

Source: Laser Technik Journal, Volume 10, Issue 1, pages 41–44, January 2013

Precise stent inspection in 2D

Precise stent inspection in 2D

Scan macroscope for quality control of medical implants

Every year in Germany, hundreds of thousand of stents are implanted and not only in the elderly, as might be expected, but in patients of all ages, from toddlers to geriatrics.

A tubular stent consists of a convoluted lattice structure that requires careful quality control during and after manufacture. The overall geometry, the widths of the webbing and the surface texture of the stent require checking to ensure that a perfect product is implanted in the patient. Schäfter+Kirchhoff have developed a scanning macroscope that produces high-resolution 2D images of each stent and analyses their quality. more...

Source: Elektronik Informationen 11/2012, November 2012, p. 70–71

Lasers for Nanometrology

Lasers for Nanometrology

Low noise fiber-coupled laser diode beam sources with reduced coherence

Over the last few decades the interest in phenomena on nanoscale or even atomic scale has increased significantly. A prominent, but at the same time very demanding technique is atomic force microscopy (AFM). AFM can reveal surface topographies at atomic resolution or be used to measure small forces in the range of only a few piconewtons. This exacting technique requires highly stable laser sources with specific features, including low power noise and the possibility to oppress unwanted interference.

The 51nano series of lasers was specially developed to provide these indispensable features of low noise, reduced coherence and low speckle contrast in order to achieve the demanding stability standards required in nanotechnology and atomic force measurements. Particle measurements and alignment tasks are other possible applications for these stabilized, fiber-coupled laser diode beam sources. more...

Source: Laser Technik Journal, Volume 9, Issue 5, November 2012, p. 39–42

RGBV Fiber Optics for TIRF Microscopy and Biophotonics

RGBV Fiber Optics for TIRF Microscopy and Biophotonics

Many methods in biophotonics including fluorescence microscopy require laser light over a wide spectral range. RGBV fiber optics (red-green-blue-violet) enable closed, stable and compact systems, which allow to maintain the polarization with simultaneous coupling and collimation of multiple beam sources with wavelegths between 400 and 600 nm. more...

Source: BioPhotonik, March 2012, Issue 1-2012, p. 22–26

Line scan cameras for industrial image processing

Line scan cameras for industrial image processing

Practical uses in industry and research

A prerequisite for successful industrial image processing and automatic image analysis is the availability of a high quality image recording that is in focus, exhibits high contrast and is highly detailed. High image quality can only be achieved with the appropriate combination of line scan camera, high resolution lens, appropriate lighting and a precise motor unit, whether rotary or linear drive or a conveyer belt. more...

Source: Optik & Photonik, Volume7, Issue 3, October 2012, p. 49-52

Polarization maintaining fiber optics for fluorescence microscopy

Polarization maintaining fiber optics for fluorescence microscopy

Many methods in the field of biophotonics require laser light in a broad spectral range. RGBV fiber optics in combination with an AOTF allow closed, stable and compact systems which – while maintaining the polarization – enable a simultaneous coupling, collimation and connection of multiple beam sources of 400–660 nm. more...

Source: Laser+Photonik 05/2012, October 2012, p. 38–41

Line scan cameras inspect internal O-ring groove surfaces

Line scan cameras inspect internal O-ring groove surfaces

With a "Scheimpflug Configuration", three line scan cameras simultaneously inspect not only the horizontal floor and surrounding flanking areas, bus also the vertical sides of an O-ring groove at high resolution, in spite of oblique angles.

Getting a fully focussed image of an object when it is at an extremely oblique angle is a major challenge for photographers, as it is in industrial and research applications where access to the measured object is constrained. An effective solution for this problem was first formulated by the Austrian geoscientist Theodor Scheimpflug in the early 20th century. The Scheimpflug configuration is a geometric arrangement of the individual planes of the imaging device, the object to be imaged and the objective lens that allows a focussed image of a slanted object to be obtained without narrowing the aperture to increase the depth of focus

A particularly difficult application is the inspection of a circumferential groove on the external edge of a disc, which provides the sealing surfaces for a flexible O-ring. more...

Source: Photonik international / 2013 , November 2013, p. 28-31

Lasers with polarizationmaintaining fiber optics for nanometrology

Lasers with polarizationmaintaining fiber optics for nanometrology

Low-noise laser diode beam sources with reduced coherence

The 51nano fiber-coupled lasers were developed to provide low power noise, reduced coherence length and minimal speckle, allowing their specific use in nanotechnology applications, such as atomic force microscopy, particle measurement and fine adjustment tasks. more...

Source: nanotechnologie aktuell, Issue July 2012, p. 20–21

Components and tools for polarization maintaining fiber optics

Components and tools for polarization maintaining fiber optics

Technology for industrial and scientific applications

Fiber cables open up new vistas for the design of modular devices and compact setups for industrial and scientific applications. Special fibers, such as polarization-maintaining singlemode fibers, are predestined for use in complex, self-contained setups, increasing laser safety by reducing the laser safety classification. Most importantly, a sensitive and delicate measurement system can still enjoy the benefits of a laser beam, with the desirable features of polarization state and coherence, but be physically separated from the laser source. The measurement setup and the laser source are decoupled mechanically and thermally in order to avoid any mutual negative impacts. more...

Source: Laser Technik Journal, Volume 9 Issue 1 (January 2012), pages 30–34

Scan-Makroskop für die Analyse von Filiform-Korrosion

Scan-Makroskop für die Analyse von Filiform-Korrosion

Automatisierte normgerechte Analyse der Filiformkorrosion

Die Filiformkorrosion ist eine spezielle Form der Korrosion, die bei beschichtetem Aluminium und niedriglegierten Stählen auftritt. Im Zusammenspiel mit Wasser, Sauerstoff und sogenannten Startersalzen bilden sich Korrosionszellen zwischen der Metalloberfläche und der Beschichtung. Ausgehend von Kratzern, Schnittkanten oder anderen Beschädigungen der Beschichtung entstehen langsam fortschreitende fadenförmige Unterwanderungen, eine Erscheinung, die auch als Wurmfraß bezeichnet wird.

Der vorgestellte Filiform-Scanner wurde entwickelt, um eine objektive Beurteilung dieser Korrosionserscheinung zu ermöglichen. Der aus einer Zeilenkamera mit integrierter Hellfeld-Beleuchtung bestehende Messkopf liefert Aufnahmen hoher Qualität. Eine spezialisierte Software ermittelt objektiv die in internationalen Normen festgelegten Kenngrößender Filiform-Korrosion. more...

Source: Magazin für Oberflächentechnik 12/2011

Schäfter + Kirchhoff GmbH - specialists for optical sensors and measurement technology
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