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Setting up a Line Scan Camera System

System adjustment with oscilloscope display

The sensor of a line scan camera is one-dimensional. The image of a line scan camera consists of a single line and shows the brightness profile of an object imaged along the sensor line. The oscilloscope display plots the digitized brightness profile against sensor length with a high refresh rate. The x-axis depicts the complete line scan of the individual sensor pixels of the line scan camera. The y-axis depicts the signal intensity and its range is determined by the resolution of the analog-digital (A/D) converter: at 8-bit the scale is from 0 to 255 and at 12-bit from 0 to 4095.

The oscilloscope display of the line scan camera output is ideal for adjusting the lens aperture and integration time, for focussing the image, evaluation of the object illumination and for aligning the line scan camera. The high refresh rate ensures that any changes to the parameters of the optical system and camera settings are displayed interactively and in real-time.

With line cameras that have sensor lengths of up to 8160 pixels, the numerous details of the signal plot can only be made visible with a powerful zoom function. The magnification of one or more sections of the signal allows for a pixel-specific evaluation of the line scan signal (see figure).

The oscilloscope display and its convenient zoom functions are integrated in the line scan camera operating software SkLineScan made by Schäfter+Kirchhoff. Pop-up dialog windows for the camera parameter settings enable the complete interactive adjustment of the line scan camera settings.

SkLineScan is an integral part of the software packages from Schäfter+Kirchhoff that are specifically designed for line scan cameras with either Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, LVDS interfaces.

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