You only need to read these instructions if you have our high resolution CCD option.
See the detailed specifications with the manual for our advanced imaging camera.
If you have the slim USB CCD, you need these instructions instead.
If you have the Macro x-ray camera, you need these instructions instead.
If you have the Laue camera, you need these instructions instead.
If you have the EMCCD camera, you need these instructions instead.
If you have a standard video camera, you need these instructions instead.

You can download the NeutronOptics software CD for the hires Atik camera here.
These instructions are for Windows-7; for other versions they may be slightly different.

The High Resolution CCD Option

Install the Driver and Artemis Capture software

  • Browse the CD & launch "SetupArtemisNeutronOptics.exe". Also install drivers
  • You can also download and pre-install the Artemis core software & drivers
  • Plug the 12V supply into the camera; the fan should start up
  • Connect the 10m USB extension to the computer & wait for it to be recognised
  • This amplified USB cable requires Mac OSX 10.9 or better (or any Windows)
  • Then connect the camera to this cable, or directly to a USB port
  • The computer should automatically search for and install the driver. Be patient!
  • The Windows Device Manager should now show an ArtemisCCD USB controller
  • Now launch ArtemisCapture to control the camera (see next section)
  • If the driver is not found automatically, try manual installation:
    Click the Windows "Start" button and open "Devices and Printers"
    Double-click the "Unknown Device", select "Hardware" then "Properties"
    Click "Change Settings" under the "General" tab
    Click "Update Driver" under the new "General" tab
    Choose "Browse for Drivers" on the Product Software CD
    Select the 32-bit or 64-bit driver from the drivers folder
    Click "OK" then "Next" then accept and install the camera driver
    Top of the page

ArtemisCapture with the High Resolution Camera

Launch ArtemisCapture to display the image and controls. The "File" menu is used to save the last image, the "Camera" menu connects the camera if it is not done automatically, and the "Colour" menu should be set to "Raw". The icons under the menus launch a single exposure or continuous loop exposures. The three remaining icons open the Exposure, Display and Cooler tabs. IMPORTANT: Zoom out to see the green outline of the full CCD.

Click the image to enlarge it. The white dots are noise for a 30s un-cooled exposure.
Typically you would set the exposure time and click "loop" with Display "Auto stretch" on.

On the "Exposure" tab: (to speed up downloads e.g. when focussing with light)
• Set the exposure time (s) with BinX=4 and BinY=X for 4x4 binning
• A delay Dly (s) between exposures in loop mode can be set
• Check the "Pre" box to reduce the time for noise correction
Do NOT check the "Pre" box for imaging; longer exposures will show noise spots .
• Select StartX, StartY, Width, Height as 750, 750, 500, 500 to reduce readout time
• Use "loop" exposures of ~0.05s, which are sufficient for light (but not neutrons)

On the "Display" tab:
• Check the "Auto stretch" option to select the best 8-bits out of the 16-bits.
   Note: scintillator afterglow may be seen for some minutes after exposure to light.
• "Zoom" (or the central mouse button) zooms the display window

On the "Cooler" tab:
• Set the temperature to -20oC to reduce noise when collecting neutron images.
• If the CCD is cold, click "Warm up" and wait a few minutes before disconnecting.

If the Artemis Capture window does not open, unplug/replug the power supply to reset.

Manual Lens Focussing and Macro Imaging

Focussing is with light, not neutrons. Place graph paper immediately in front of the scintillator, taking care not to dirty the scintillator surface. Slide the scintillator box onto the camera and open the lens door to allow light to enter. With the CCD near its closest position to the camera box, adjust focus for a small 500x500 pixel selected area, eventually with binning to speed up downloads. When focussing is complete, collect a "full frame" to check the FOV. Clamp the lens focus, remove the graph paper and seal the camera.

With macro imaging you can obtain a smaller FOV by using the short front end. The minimum, focus distance of the 50mm lens is 500mm, but you can focus closer by increasing the distance between the lens and the CCD. You need an extra ~3mm to focus at 350mm, which can be obtained by simply unscrewing the CCD 4 turns and clamping it 3mm further from the camera box. (Otherwise you could use a "macro-ring" spacer immediately underneath the lens mount inside the camera).

You can double the resolution (and halve the FOV) by replacing the 50mm lens by a 100mm lens.

Hints on getting Optimal Performance

  • If the image is completely black, reduce the exposure to avoid saturation.
  • The exposure time depends of course on the intensity of your beam
  • 2x2 binning will give x4 the intensity and faster readout, but halve resolution
  • You can also speed up readout by limiting it to a "sub-frame" of the full image
  • The "Display" panel controls what you see, but has no effect on what you collect
  • "Zoom" (and the wheel mouse button) zooms the size of the image display
  • "Auto Stretch" compresses the 16-bit range of intensities to 8-bits for display
  • But usually you will want to select the black and white display limits manually
  • Image display is for guidance. Open the image with ImageJ for measurement
  • The CCD can be cooled to reduce noisy pixels. You can also use ImageJ filters
  • Fogging may occur if you cool below 0>C (the CCD chamber contains a desiccant)
  • The desiccant can be replaced by removing the large screw on the camera shaft

Cooling becomes particularly important for very long exposures. The images above show a 300s exposure at ambient temperature (22C) (above left) compared to the same exposure after cooling to -6C (above right); only a few isolated hot pixels remain after cooling, and these can easily be removed with the ImageJ Despeckle filter. (Click images to enlarge).

For high quality images, do NOT check the "Pre" box for fast readout, and do NOT bin. Both will emphasise and smear out hot pixels, and make them more difficult to filter.
If you measure ONLY background, the display software will also emphasise hot pixels. Top of the page

Occasional Problems with Camera Operation

  • Be patient. Wait for ArtemisCapture to load and detect the camera.
  • If ArtemisCapture complains that it cannot connect to the camera, a background instance of ArtemisCapture may already be connected. Unplug power to the camera, which will close any camera connections, then try again.
  • Check that an ArtemisCCD device is connected in the USB controller list in the Windows Device Manager, which is accessed by right-clicking MyComputer.
  • Try deleting the ArtemisCapture.ini file from the C:\Windows folder to reset ArtemisCapture to its initial state.
  • Try a different USB port, waiting for the driver to be found and re-installed.
  • USB ports can sometimes enter a state where they become un-responsive. Shut down the computer and remove the computer's power cable for a few seconds. Then re-connect everything and reboot.
  • If all else fails, try using a different computer.
  • A black image may simply mean the CCD is over-exposed. Reduce exposure time.

Eventual Replacement of the Desiccant

Your camera includes a desiccant tablet, used to avoid condensation in the CCD chamber. This desiccant lasts a very long time but may eventually need recharging.
  • To replace the desiccant, open the desiccant port with the supplied plastic tool and a screwdriver and remove the tablet.
  • Place it in an oven at 200ºC for 2 hours. Remove it and allow it to cool down. (CAUTION: it will be VERY hot).
  • Place it back in the camera. DON'T over-tighten the port cover.
    Wait 24 hours before connecting the camera.
A filter inside the desiccant chamber avoids contamination when the chamber is opened.
This filter is fragile and should not be touched.

Image Treatment with ImageJ

ImageJ is recommended for image analysis. ImageJ will open the 16-bit raw FITS files produced by Artemis Capture, remove noise, modify contrast and other properties, and save them in various formats. More importantly, it will allow you to measure intensity profiles and display your data in ways that will make it more meaningful. For example:

  • The ImageJ "Process/noise/despeckle" filter will remove isolated hot white pixels
  • To correct for barrel distortion install the ImageJ Barrel Distortion macro tool

A complete ImageJ installation is included on the NeutronOptics software CD under "Extras". Copy the ImageJ folder to your C: disk & launch ImageJ to set defaults and update ImageJ.

Tomography, Laue Diffraction and ImageJ for ASCOM

For tomography you can collect a series of images, calling a script to rotate the sample after each image by using camera/sequencer. In this example we take 360 2x2 binned exposures of 4s (with no filter), writing individual files to "MyFile???.FITS" then executing script "orient.vbs" and waiting 5 seconds before starting the next exposure. You can substitute any type of script or application for "orient.vbs". See also ImageJ-for-ASCOM.

All our cameras aquire images in 16-bit greyscale FITS format, from which ImageJ can create TIFF stacks of sequential projections. Applications such as MATLAB or OCTOPUS and free applications such as PITRE and H-PITRE can be used for tomographic reconstruction of a stack of sections from a stack of projections. The ImageJ 3D Viewer can display stacks as texture-based volume renderings, surfaces or orthoslices. A sample GIF stack of tomographic sections can be downloaded for testing. But first read one of the free on-line books such as Principles of Computerized Tomographic Imaging and The Scientist Digital Signal Processing.

ImageJ for ASCOM is also suitable for tomography, Laue diffraction and very low-flux acquisitions. The acquired images are opened directly in ImageJ, and you can easily modify the interface by extending the ImageJ scripts. At the end of each image acquisition, a Windows routine Orient.vbs is launched (if it exists) to eventually re-orient the sample. You can simultaneously acquire images from dual-CCD Laue cameras and stitch them together.

LabView and Artemis Software Developement Kit (SDK)

The camera can also be controlled using LabView, National Instruments' graphical programming environment for instrument control. You can download a free time-limited version if you want to control our camera together with other instruments. Excellent LabView on-line tutorials are available, as are a set of simple LabView (*.vi) files to control the high resolution camera. Note that you also need the LabView Vision Developement Module, and you can download a free evaluation version.

We cannot provide support for LabView, for which you must rely on National Instruments or the NI user group, which has posted example files for Artemis cameras. One of our clients used a simple LabView application to control his sample turntable, and then used the ArtemisCapture/sequencer to call that Labview routine after each image acquisition.

The Artemis SDK Software Developement Kit contains C++ support and example files to allow you to develope your own camera acquisition code.

Camera Control and Image Acquisition with Nebulosity

You can also use the PHD application for simple real-time image capture with the Hi-res camera (without cooling), or the Nebulosity3 application, with either the Atik/Artemis driver or the ASCOM driver. These applications are also available for macintosh systems.

Optional Camera Control with Artemis Infinity

If you have the “Infinity” CCD you can use the supplied Infinity software to collect short exposures adding them together in real time. This gives a quick intermediate image if you need long exposures.

  • Double-click the top bar to expand/contract the window.
  • If connected, “Infinity” is shown in green
  • Set the exposure time and binning.
    Check “Advanced /Long Exposures” for exposures >120s
  • The green triangle starts exposures, turning into a white square to stop exposures
  • The bar at the bottom controls the image display range.
    Drag the vertical markers to bracket the display intensity range

    Slightly different manuals are available for our high resolution CCDs our "fast" high resolution camera and our advanced imaging camera.