ScanImage 2019 : Acquisition and Control Hardware


ScanImage 2015 and later allows users to configure their system for resonant scanning or linear scanning (=galvo only scanning). A microscope with two laser paths can combine both methods to allow for simultaneous imaging and photostimulation.

The sections below describe the basic acquisition and control hardware requirements for both imaging systems.



Resonant Scanning

ScanImage uses vDAQ for data acquisition and microscope control. vDAQ is an all-in-one data acquisition board that controls the most advanced laser scanning microscopes.



The 2U rackmountable vDAQ breakout shows the main functionality of the data acquisition system:

  • 4 fast analog inputs for acquiring PMT data
  • 12 2MHz analog outputs for microscope control (Galvos, Piezos, Pockels Cells, ...)
  • 12 1MHz analog inputs for actuator feedback
  • 32 digital inputs/outputs for triggering / clocking 



Linear Scanning

For linear Scanning, ScanImage supports two hardware platforms

  1. vDAQ (recommended)
  2. NI DAQ hardware (low cost)


vDAQ for linear scanning

See vDAQ Configuration for more information.

NI hardware for linear scanning


PMT acquisition, galvo control


 For multi-PMT acquisition, a simultaneously sampled NI X-series board is required.


Pockels controlPCIe-6321 OR PXIe-6341Highly recommended - allows blanking laser during resonant scanner slowdown and galvo scanner flyback
Piezo/FastZ controlPCIe-6321 OR PXIe-6341Allows for volume imaging applications

Users upgrading from ScanImage 3.8 can reuse their existing PCI-6110/6132/6133 digitizers, but will need to purchase at least one additional X-series board (e.g. PCIe-6321). Please contact us at to learn about upgrade options from ScanImage 3.x

Configuration Guide


Please see Configuring LinScan (Galvo Galvo scanning) page for additional details.


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