Optical Diffractometer Available - demos wanted?

Holmes, Jon jon.holmes at siraeo.co.uk
Wed Sep 25 01:01:55 PDT 2002

In March this year Brad Amos from MRC announced on this list that the
Optical Diffractometer that has been developed at MRC Laboratory of
Molecular Biology would be made commercially available.

MRC have completed signing an agreement with Sira Electro-Optics Ltd
(London, UK) licensing Sira to manufacture and market the instrument.  

Some sites in the US have expressed interest in the instrument, and the main
reason for circulating this e-mail is to canvas interest in seeing it in
operation in the US (probably at our Ohio office). 

I would be interested to receive enquiries from the US or indeed anywhere

Like Brad in his message (21 Mar 02), I apologise for the 'commercial'
nature of this e-mail, but I was recommended to use it by more than one e/m

I attach some more information about the instrument.
Industrial Business Manager
Sira Electro-Optics Ltd
South Hill

Tel. 	+44 (0) 20 8468 1770 
Fax.	+44 (0) 20 8468 1771
E-mail: Jon.Holmes at siraeo.co.uk
This message and any attachments is for the intended addressee only. Please
contact us immediately if you have received this transmission in error.  If
you are not the intended recipient, you should note that any use, copying,
disclosure or distribution of this information is strictly prohibited. The
views of the author may not necessarily constitute the views of Sira
Electro-Optics Ltd.  Nothing in this email shall bind Sira Electro-Optics
Ltd in any contract or obligation.
Optical Diffractometer 

for evaluating electron micrograph images

*	Fast, easy evaluation of electron micrograph images
*	High-contrast images from enclosed precision laser optics
*	Compact, ergonomic, hi-tech design with small footprint, suitable
for desk-top operation

*	Allows high-resolution, simultaneous display and capture of both
diffraction and real-space video images.
*	Simple to set up, use and maintain
*	Diffraction image magnification variable over a 6-fold range

*	Does not require a darkened room for use or restricted access for
laser safety reasons

*	Laser cross-hair for marking location of selected regions on the
*	Service contract available providing worry-free year-round
operation, with annual check-up and replacement of limited-life components 
*	Complete with computer, frame-grabber and image capture software

Description of the 'SiraMed' Optical Diffractometer

This instrument was developed in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology,
Cambridge, where Klug and De Rosier first introduced the diffraction
analysis of electron micrographs in the 60s.

Sira Electro-Optics Ltd., the well-known UK-based optical engineering and
instrumentation company, have joined forces with MRC Laboratory of Molecular
Biology to bring the instrument to the molecular biology research community.
The prototype design, proven in the MRC laboratory with thousands of hours
of use by MRC scientists, has been updated by Sira for manufacture and

Extensively tested by MRC scientists, this diffractometer eliminates the
difficulty of use and eye-strain of earlier diffractometers. Risk of direct
user exposure to the laser light is eliminated. The novel optical design
allows the use of two high-resolution video cameras to capture the
diffraction pattern and the real-space image simultaneously. It is possible
to scan over a negative rapidly, using the real-time video image, and view
at the same time the corresponding diffraction pattern, and then capture
both digital images to disk. The magnification of both the real and the
reciprocal space images can be varied independently.

To facilitate the surveying of large numbers of negatives, particular
attention has been paid to the stage of the diffractometer, which allows
translation and rotation of the image around a fixed centre. The holder
makes contact only with the edges of the negative and adjustable masking
baffles do not make contact with the negative. A video cross-hair generator
can also be used for measurement with single-pixel precision.  The
instrument is straightforward to calibrate by scanning a reference target.

Instruments will be installed at the user's premises by trained technicians,
and instruction provided in its operation. The diffractometer is simple to
operate and requires no special skills or technical background (except for
the biological interpretation of the images themselves).

Dimensions  Length 610 mm x Width 400 mm x Height 510 mm. Designed for
desk-top use. Weight approximately 25 kg

Power requirements 110 V or 220 V 50 - 60 Hz AC from standard power outlets

Operating conditions  Normal laboratory / office conditions. No special
lighting arrangements. No requirement for designated laser safety area with
restricted access

Optics The principal optics are coated telescope doublets giving exceptional
performance throughout the diffractometer field.

Light sources. Microlens laser diode (637nm) of 8-10 mW for diffraction
image. Light-emitting-diode source for real space image with peak intensity
at 520nm. Low power laser cross-hair generator to assist marking areas of
interest. Lifetime of all sources exceed 5000 hours continuous operation. 

Dynamic range. Laser intensity variable over an 800-fold range, allowing the
examination of negatives of almost any optical density.

Maximum diameter of viewed area of negative 29mm. Adjustable masks allow
reduction of target area as desired

Diffractometer constant Basic setting: 0.1mm = 104pixels in diffraction
image (767 x 575 pixels total size). Variable within the range 0.1mm = 49
pixels to 0.1mm = 316 pixels. Easily calibrated using reference target.

Image Capture Device 2 GHz PC compatible equipped with 1600 x 1200 display
and dual-input frame-grabber  (768 x 576 pixel). Image processing software
supplied installed.

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