Question: Spectral Workbench recording time?

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dhale2 asked on December 01, 2016 12:09
331 | 4 answers | #13735

I'm trying to show the spectrum of bioluminescent bacteria is its bioluminescence deteriorates. This would be over the course of several days, and I would need to continuously record the bacteria to accomplish this. Would spectral workbench be able to continuously record data over several days to accomplish this?

The data will be used for an art+tech+writing project using the bacteria as a tag for augmented reality.




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4 Answers

I don't know whether a macro in Spectral Workbench could capture images at some interval from a continuous video stream from a webcam (spectrometer). If it could, then each of those spectra might have to be calibrated. Then what would you do with all of those spectra?

Another approach might be to take timelapse photos of the spectra (formed by the slit and grating). If your spectrometer has a webcam, there are several free programs which take interval photos from a webcam (Google webcam timelapse). Or use a camera with intervalometer capability. Then you will get a folder on your computer full of photos of spectra (maybe taken one every five minutes?). A few of these can be submitted to Spectral Workbench to see what kind of change happened over the course of the study. It might be sufficient to display the results of just a few of the spectra to show the course of bioluminescence.

You could also use the photos as frames in a video (most good video editing programs allow this). The apparatus would have to be stationary for the entire capture. That video might also show what you want to show. It is theoretically possible to stream this video to Spectral Workbench where you could watch the progress of the bioluminescent decay with the graph of the wavelength intensity displayed. I think you could even display a calibrated graph (with the correct wavelengths on the x axis). As the video is streamed and the display happens you could capture a video of your computer screen. Then you would have a video of the (calibrated?) spectral graphs as bioluminescence changes.

A simpler approach might be to take a photo of the spectrum every hour or so for a couple of days as the bioluminescence changes. Then you will have only a few dozen photos which can be manually submitted to Spectral Workbench for calibration. Then you will get a few dozen spectral graphs which can be captured and used in a presentation of some sort.


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Excellent @cfastie!
Another option a lot more techie but, if not only for this temporal use, would be installing Spectralworkbench on a local server maybe using Mamp/Xampp (?¿)
It requires some skills but if someone close to you @dhale2 knows how to manage a server you would have your own offline tool with all that implies (not dependence on the bandwith for the video transfer, just one user, etc...) In fact now that I'm writing I think I'll give it a try maybe using a raspberry pi (?¿?¿)

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Yes, it is possible to capture periodically -- there's a thread about it here:!searchin/plots-spectrometry/timer|sort:relevance/plots-spectrometry/5dbGfz2rWro/_CQP_5XNgnEJ

Hope that helps!

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Wonderful suggestions! Thanks for all the help.


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