Appearance of the operational prototype

Final construction after bench testing

The final instrument has been assembled on a sturdy pressed steel base for ease of transportation and storage. It offers the smallest microscope assembly ever flown in space.

Microscope (small image)

The final version of the microscope is apparent in this view. The volume of this version is less than 50% of the original proposal, which utilised phase-contrast illumination. The control unit (left) is amenable to further miniaturisation and the in-line well array will be substituted by a carousel in the final design.

Microscope (40kb file)

In this labelled study the essential components can be seen. In order to obtain satisfactory alignment, each component is capable of movement relative to the optical axis. The well array can be raised and lowered (a brass focussing control is fitted), and the wells moved laterally in the x-axis to help centre the alignment. Movement in the y-axis is facilitated through mounting the sensor in two runners (left and right) which allow it to be moved perpendicular to the well array.

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