On the accuracy of framing-rate measurements in ultra-high speed rotating mirror cameras

Michael Conneely*, Hans O. Rolfsnes, Charles Main, David McGloin, Paul A. Campbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Rotating mirror systems based on the Miller Principle are a mainstay modality for ultra-high speed imaging within the range 1-25 million frames per second. Importantly, the true temporal accuracy of observations recorded in such cameras is sensitive to the framing rate that the system directly associates with each individual data acquisition. The purpose for the present investigation was to examine the validity of such system-reported frame rates in a widely used commercial system (a Cordin 550-62 model) by independently measuring the framing rate at the instant of triggering. Here, we found a small but significant difference between such measurements: the average discrepancy (over the entire spectrum of frame rates used) was found to be 0.66 ± 0.48%, with a maximum difference of 2.33%. The principal reason for this discrepancy was traced to nonoptimized sampling of the mirror rotation rate within the system protocol. This paper thus serves three purposes: (i) we highlight a straightforward diagnostic approach to facilitate scrutiny of rotating-mirror system integrity; (ii) we raise awareness of the intrinsic errors associated with data previously acquired with this particular system and model; and (iii), we recommend that future control routines address the sampling issue by implementing realtime measurement at the instant of triggering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16432-16437
Number of pages6
JournalOptics Express
Issue number17
Early online date11 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements: This work was supported by EPSRC (EP/D048958 & EP/H045368/1) and a MRC Milstein Award. MC is partially funded via an EPSRC DTA award. PC holds a Royal Society Industry Research Fellowship (IF090106) which supports CM. DMcG is a Royal Society University Research Fellow (URF). We are grateful for technical advice and information from Susan Palmer at Cordin (Salt Lake City, USA). We also thank Adrian Walker (STFC) for supporting us with continued loans, and technical advice, from the EPSRC instrument pool.


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