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Posted: Jul 29, 2011

Topcon Announces Versatile, Hybrid Microscope

(Nanowerk News) Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS), a global leader in precision optical, GPS, and automation systems for geodetic, engineering and construction applications, has introduced the Aquila hybrid microscope to the North American market.
Ray O'Connor, TPS president and CEO, said, "The Aquila hybrid scope puts the versatility of an optical microscope and the power of an scanning electron microscope (SEM) into a simple, portable, and affordable package."
The microscope magnifies from 30x in optical mode, to 50,000x as an SEM. According to company sources, this unique hybrid design provides key advantages that should expand the use of SEM technology.
The simplicity of the Aquila, both in design and functionality "creates an instrument with virtually no learning curve," he said. "With an array of features that make it attractive to both the experienced and new SEM user, it is the most versatile and easy-to-use microscope on the market."
"Topcon has a long and respected history in the optical market," O'Connor said. "Even though Aquila is not our typical positioning instrument, it has incredible application opportunities in several markets TPS already serves mining, forensics, education, and water management in particular."
Mick Yamazaki, TPS chief operating officer, said the market for the Aquila microscope is broad-based. "The versatility of this instrument is astounding," he said. "For companies and organizations that may not have ever considered the benefits of an in-house SEM, Aquila is truly an eye-opener. We have invested heavily in providing an intuitive interface that can be easily used by non-experienced operators, while also providing in-depth control for the most demanding applications."
In addition to the areas pointed out by O'Connor, he noted the instrument has practical usage in air and water monitoring, metallurgy and metal analysis, materials analysis, food industry, quality control and micro-mechanical systems.
Yamazaki said the attributes and features of the Aquila "create an instrument with an array of features found only in higher priced instruments. The development of the Aquila was focused on creating a powerful instrument that would appeal to a broad range of users."
Other key features include:
  • All-in-one design. No separate pumps or computers
  • Optical navigation map for fast target acquisition and re-positioning
  • Point-and-position image and rotation control
  • Easy imaging and file management
  • Full annotation control including size, angle and distance measurement
  • Extremely portable, 0.3m2 footprint
  • Easy sample loading; no tools or screws required
  • One-year warranty
  • More information about Aquila is available at www.topconsem.com.
    Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc. (TPS) designs and manufactures precise positioning products and solutions for the global surveying, construction, agriculture, civil engineering, mapping and GIS, asset management and mobile control markets. TPS' parent company, Topcon Corporation, was founded in 1932.
    Source: Topcon (press release)
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