We have developed a novel platform-concept, which allows the construction of an automated upright light-microscope-based
slide-scanning device. In order to achieve maximal speed at maximal image quality we have paid special attention
to a highly rigid, highly stiff construction. By using novel materials we have been able to achieve vibration-damping
characteristics many times better than conventional approaches. We have combined these new concepts with a voice-coil
based digitally controlled focus drive, which achieves the speed and stability of a piezo-element, yet allows travels of up
to 10 mm. Using scan-modes which avoid stop & go but instead keep the slide moving at a constant speed we have been
able to cut scan-times to levels approaching that of multi-objective approaches, yet with much higher flexibility and
better image quality.
Passive remote sensing with a Fourier transform IR (FTIR) spectrometer allows the detection and identification of pollutant clouds in the atmosphere. In this work the measurement technique and a data analysis method that does not require a previously measured background spectrum are described. Recent experimental results obtained with anew high sensitive FTIR remote sensor are presented. Many situations do not allow the measurement of a background spectrum prior to the measurement of pollutants in order to perform background removal. After a radiometric calibration of the FTIR spectrometer with IR reference sources the spectral radiance of the environment can be measured. With the inverse function of Planck's radiation law the brightness temperature is computed. The temperature spectrum has a constant baseline for many natural materials that serve as the background in field measurements because their emittance is high and almost constant in the spectral range 800-1200 cm-2. The influence of environmental and instrumental parameters on the sensitivity of the method are discussed. Experimental results are presented to illustrate the enhancement of the signal to noise ratio that can be achieved by the alignment of the spectrometer to backgrounds with a high temperature difference to the environment.