Recent software releases serve wide range of needs

Applications of the software packages described here include data extraction from images, calibration documentation, and data management.

Recent software releases serve wide range of needs

Applications of the software packages described here include data extraction from images, calibration documentation, and data management.

Scripting improves imaging software

Matrox (Dorval, Quebec, Canada) has released Matrox Inspector 1.7, which adds scripting to its Windows-based imaging software for scientific and industrial applications. Program functions, which already include image enhancement and analysis, benefit from scripting, which allows automation of routines and development of applications without programming by both end users and developers.

Matrox Inspector permits engineers, scientists, and technicians to extract measurements and other information, such as statistics, from images. Developers can perfect proof-of-concept demonstrations for machine vision, image analysis, and medical visualization systems. The scripting feature automates routines. A sequence of operations can be recorded for future use, be made available to other users, or be applied to repeated batch processing.

Scripting enables application development without programming and can be used for developing algorithms and optimization routines by applying scripts to test images. A sequence of imaging operations can be automated by interactively using the record, pause, and sto¥buttons on the program`s toolbar. Selections recorded in the "script" can be modified by typing directly in the script window or using a text editor. The Inspector Expression Builder permits adding built-in, user definable functions, as well as external ones, to a script. A debugging mode helps correct scripting errors.

Inspector 1.7 is available as a stand-alone program or as part of the Matrox application development bundle iTOOLS Interactive. This package includes the Matrox Imaging Library 2.1 of optimized commands for image processing, blob analysis, pattern matching, gauging and measurement, and optional optical character recognition. Inspector 1.7 is being offered at $495; iTOOLS Interactive can be purchased for $1895.

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High-speed mark verification system

The latest version of the SherlockPro industrial machine vision software by Intelec (Williston, VT) includes the MarkPro mark inspection algorithm. MarkPro uses high-speed connectivity analysis to identify characters or other symbols in part markings, date/lot code stamps, or other product identifiers at speeds in excess of 200 characters per second. Intelec president Ned Lecky says, "By training on one or more known good marks, a database characterizing each symbol in the mark is automatically built. A single sensitivity adjustment instantly sets pass/fail thresholds for dozens of parameters measured during inspection."

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Peak-analysis module added to curve fitter

A peak-fitting module (PFM) has been added by Microcal Software (Northampton, MA) to expand the nonlinear curve-fitting features of its Origin data analysis and presentation package for Windows. The PFM can fit u¥to 100 peaks with at least ten parameters per peak. Peak and baseline functions, the number of peaks, and peak centers and widths can be changed via mouse. New functions can be user defined or can be combinations or convolutions of preinstalled functions. Data preconditioning and report generation features are also included. To automate repetitive fitting tasks, the PFM can also be "trained" to fit multiple data sets with the same parameters and preferences.

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Visual-data-analysis tool for PowerPC

Spyglass (Champaign, IL) has released a native PowerPC version of the Spyglass Transform visual-data-analysis software. On the PowerPC, the program runs u¥to 20 times faster than it does in an emulation mode on a PowerMac and 1.5 times faster than on a Sun SPARCstation LX. Spyglass Transform can interactively produce color raster images and surface, vector, and contour plots from numerical or image data sets. Scripting allows automation of repetitive tasks such as data importing and exporting, plot creation and exporting, and array manipulation. Other features include resampling, smoothing, and interpolation functions.

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Data management and data center for PCs

A Multispectral Chemical Characterization System (MCCS) is available from Atomic Engineering (Gaithersburg, MD). The PC-based data management software consists of peak identification, database, interactive display, and synthetic modeling modules. Features include conversion of sensor data to data files; databases on energy levels of atoms and ions and wavelengths, intensities, and transition probabilities; and resolution of mixed-sample interface and matrix effects for quantitative identification. Applications for MCCS encompass remote-sensing data fusion, sensor calibration, real-time chemical field analysis, and plasma diagnostics.

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Calibration software updated

The latest version of the IQS (Cleveland, OH) calibration package, IQS Calibrate 3.75, allows combining calibration management and repeatability and reproducibility (R&R) studies. The software is aimed at documenting and scheduling device calibrations and R&R studies as well as ensuring compliance with quality standards such as ISO 9000. Based on the Microsoft FoxPro relational database management system, IQS Calibrate offers easy location of measuring instruments within an organization, tracking of any device to a part, machine, or job number, and monitoring calibration costs including time, spares, and repairs.

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Language extension for optical design

The Optica design and analysis tool for optical systems offered by Wolfram Research (Champaign, IL) is a language extension of its Mathematica package. The 3-D ray-tracing and optical-system-rendering package is thus written in a symbol-driven object-oriented programming environment and runs on many different computer platforms. Re searchers can therefore exchange ideas easily in the form of Mathematica "notebooks." Graphics generated by the software package are of good enough quality to use directly in blueprints, proposals, and reports. An extensive library of lenses, mirrors, prisms, optical fibers, and other customizable components is part of the Optica program, as well as surface-definition options.

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