Real-time intensity tracing of single-photon counts
Our compact and light-weight FLIM Data Acquisition Card effortlessly maintains a continuous data stream, supporting real-time intensity tracing analysis. With the ability to handle up to 8 simultaneous acquisition channels, the streamed data is graphically represented as waves. The x-axis denotes the current time of acquisition, while the y-axis illustrates single-photon counts at each specific temporal point.
example of photons intensity tracing chart
7 Parameters for customizing data acquisition
Our Intensity Tracing software offers an interactive experience with 7 parameters, allowing you to tailor your analysis effortlessly. Here’s a closer look at each interactive parameter:
- Enabled Channels: Select how many channels to simultaneously enable (up to 8) for data acquisition.
- Channel Type: Decide on the connection type for acquisition – USB or SMA. USB firmware is automatically employed when USB is selected, while SMA firmware is used with the SMA option.
- Bin Width (μs): This parameter sets the time duration (in microseconds) for accumulating intensity counts in the exported .bin file. On the software charts, this value is adjusted to maintain real-time visualization. You can choose a value from 1 to 1,000,000μs (1 second).
- Update Rate: Choose between LOW and HIGH for the chart update frequency. An algorithm dynamically adjusts the draw frequency based on this choice.
- Free running acquisition time: Toggle between free and fixed acquisition time mode. If you choose the free one acquisition time is indeterminate. If you opt for fixed mode, you have to specify the acquisition duration window.
- Time span (s): Set the time interval, in seconds, for the last visible data range on the duration x-axis (you can choose a value from 1 to 300s). For instance, if this value is set to 5s, the x-axis will scroll to continuously display the latest 5 seconds of real-time data on the chart.
- Acquisition time (s): Specify the acquisition duration (in seconds) when free-running mode is disabled (you can choose a value from 1 to 1800s).
These user-friendly parameters empower you to fine-tune your analysis, making the Intensity Tracing experience both flexible and personalized to your specific requirements.
Photons tracing with “Show CPS” activated
Toggle the Show CPS option, and gain the flexibility to display real-time average Photon Count per Second (CPS) on active acquisition channel charts. Even when you’re not actively observing the traces, the intuitive real-time CPS indicator remains visible, offering instant insights into signal intensity. Effortlessly stay informed about your experiments, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of your data at a glance.
Automated chart max points calculation
Having a clear view of the data under analysis is crucial. That’s why Intensity Tracing incorporates an automatic calculation function for the number of maximum points visible on the charts to avoid overcrowding. To achieve this, it relies on two user-adjustable parameters:
- Update rate: The frequency (LOW or HIGH) at which the plot is drawn.
- Time span: The interval, in seconds, of the last visible data range on the x-axis.
Example 1) time span = 10s; acquisition time = 60s
Example 2) time span = 1s; acquisition time = 60s
Automated chart draw frequency
By automating the draw frequency, our software guarantees an optimal chart visualization and real-time experience, ensuring a seamless process for analyzing photons. To maintain real-time results on the charts, our software automatically fine-tunes the outcomes based on the computational capabilities of the target computer. It is essential to note that what is displayed on the chart represents an average of accumulated points, strategically designed to uphold real-time adjustments in the setup, allowing users to control the accumulation of photons effectively.
low draw frequency with 2 active channels
high draw frequency with 2 active channels
Save parameters configuration
Intensity Tracing elevates the data analysis experience by enabling users to save time and load the last saved parameter configuration effortlessly.
By clicking the SAVE CONFIGURATION button in the top-right corner of the interface, the parameter configuration is saved as a JSON file at C:UsersYOUR_USER.flim-labsconfigintensity_tracing_config.json .
On application restart, the saved configuration is automatically loaded if the file is found; otherwise, a default one is applied.
Our Intensity Tracing software comes equipped with a convenient export data feature, allowing you to effortlessly enable or disable the automatic export of raw data displayed on the charts. By simply toggling the export option and clicking the “Start” button to initiate real-time data acquisition and plotting, the software automatically writes the data to a .bin file, usually stored on your PC at the “C:/Users/YOUR_USER/.flim-labs/data“ path.
These exported files serve as valuable resources for additional research and analysis. Users can reuse this data to visualize trends or conduct more in-depth investigations. In these binary files, all data points acquired are visible, providing a complete dataset, unlike in the software interface, where a limit to the maximum number of points represented is set, in order to maintain a smooth real-time experience and avoid overcrowding. Find a practical example on our software technical documentation.
The internal format of the exported .bin file is straightforward and includes 3 groups of data:
- Header (4 bytes): this is the section in which validation occurs to ensure the correct format of the file.
- Metadata (variable length): metadata section includes information about enabled channels, bin width, acquisition time, and laser period parameters.
- Data Records (8 bytes for timestamp, variable length for channel values): each record contains a timestamp (representing time in seconds) and values for the active channels, indicating single-photon counts at that specific moment.
This accessible data format empowers users for a wide range of analytical needs.
FLIM Intensity Tracing is developed using GIT technologies () to keep track of changes and new features implementation. FLIM LABS is committed to supporting and developing FLIM Intensity Tracing maintenance and new releases.