Saturn : upgrade your old SEM to its full potential.


SATURN is a very flexible SEM active drive system, designed for interfacing nearly any type of SEM. The Saturn board is placed in the SEM and does not need any external power supply. The connection to the computer is very simple and requires only a serial COM port.

It is connected to the SEM scan generator and scan coil drivers, and on the other end to the frame grabber. So it is internally routing the required scan signals between the SEM and the frame grabber, which makes it totally transparent to the frame grabber when not used.

The system technician can freely set any frame time (duration of one scan), the number of line per scan and the image form factor in the software, for each scan mode.

It is also designed to upgrade SEMs already equipped with any frame grabber, like Orion of course, but also for example Quartz PCI or SemAfore systems.

Main Characteristics

  • sweep ramp amplitude can be set from 1Vptp to 20Vptp
  • line scan time can be set from 0.2 ms/line to up to 2 sec / line
  • frame time can be set from 0.3 sec/frame to 2 hours/frame
  • the Saturn scan generator can mimic the SEM sweep ramp shape (insertion of front- and back porches, programmable spot return speeds and dead times, etc)
  • sweep ramp generators are driven by 14-bits DACs
  • when driving the SEM, blanking signals are also generated towards the frame grabber for synchronizing it during image acquisition
  • a small, separated power supply normalizes and cleans up the voltages applied to the board
  • the connection cables are delivered with the board


  • connector J1 (DB15) groups all signals going/coming from the SEM, (power supply, video, sweep ramps, blanking pulses)
  • connector J2 (DB9) connects to the frame grabber (blanking pulses, video)
  • connector J3 (DB9) connects to the computer COM port (RS232)
  • connector J4 (4 pins) connects to a remote module in the SEM, that reads the MAG factor


The main board measures 155 x 100 mm, or 6.10 x 4 in.