1 Feb '12
Oleg Kouzbit, Online News Managing Editor
Moscow-based Advanced Technologies Center has recently announced its innovative software solution for scientific data storage and processing in microscopy. With FemtoScan Online small and medium-sized research groups may expect to maximize their development results while appreciably scaling down automation costs.
Advanced Technologies Center’s special software, FemtoScan Online, is an improvement of its original system designed to control scanning probe microscopes and analyze data. An upgraded version of its proprietary enterprise content management (ECM) system, FemtoScan enables processing and imaging in electronic and optical microscopy, and provides a highly customized solution for small and medium-sized research labs.
FemtoScan Online will be installed at St. Petersburg State University to facilitate the operation of its nano-center, the Moscow developer says. Microscopes to be integrated and controlled by the new system came from Germany’s Carl Zeiss, a reported partner in this project.
The project cost has yet to be specified; according to Advanced Technologies Center, the effort has been co-financed by Russia’s Bortnik Fund, a government-run fund set up in 1994 to support small innovative companies.
Advanced Technologies Center has been in Russia’s mushrooming software market since 1990, evolving over the years into a sizable player in the high-precision nano-analytics equipment and atomic-force microscopy segments.
The company focuses on products that enable measurements and processing of data obtained in material science and biomed, and develops software packages that support nanotech efforts.
FemtoScan, a multifunctional scanning probe microscope with full Internet access to analyze data in a range of modes from contact atomic-force microscopy to nanolithography, has been promoted as Advanced Technologies Center’s flagship product.
Designed to integrate, easy to work with, affordable
FemtoScan Online is an attempt to integrate image processing algorithms and database build-up and management methods in a compact and affordable research infrastructure solution.
Today’s research automation systems market predominantly offers products that support wide-ranging scientific projects involving elementary particle accelerators, powerful telescopes and other expensive equipment, analysts say. Introducing such software is a sizable investment that would only pay off if made to automate future large-scale production.
FemtoScan Online enables much smaller research teams to take full advantage of various instruments and tools programmatically integrated in one system that aids research, Advanced Technologies Center claims.
The developers say their new software, easy to install and debug and fast to operate, supports 3D imaging, stereo modes, video and a variety of other functions that help data processing in electronic, optical and probe microscopy. It also reportedly eases preparation of reports, presentations and other publications.
According to Advanced Technologies Center, the system provides an effective solution for a range of remote access modes, too. All one needs to control a FemtoScan Online integrated instrument is Internet access.
The software enables multi-user operation and trouble-free data exchange as information is protected. With the new system researchers can maintain a shareable database of scientific experiments and hold chats and video conferences with colleagues across the globe.