Micro-Pam Compact Fluorometer for Long-term Monitoring of Photosynthesis




A MICRO-PAM system involves several light-weight chlorophyll fluorometers for field use. Being capable of multi-site monitoring of photosynthesis over weeks and months, the MICRO-PAM is tailored to study plant responses to environmental changes in nature and under controlled conditions. Due to its compact measuring heads, the MICRO-PAM is suited for smaller samples than those typically probed by the established MONITORING-PAM.


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Type of Instrument Chlorophyll Fluorometers
The instrument measures: Photosynthesis

Originally, the MICRO-PAM has been developed to measure photosynthesis of lichens growing on rocks or in biological soil crusts. The actual field of application includes herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees. In addition to determining photosynthesis yield by the saturation pulse technique, the measuring heads record light intensity and temperature by external sensors, and humidity by an internal sensor.

The measuring heads of a MICRO-PAM system are denoted as MICRO-HEAD/3B where the “3” specifies the diameter in mm of the light guide and the "B" stands for the blue color of measuring and actinic light.

The MICRO-HEAD/3B possesses a blue power LED with maximum emission at 465 nm and a full width at half maximum of 22 nm. The maximum actinic light intensity at sample level is 3000 μmol m-2 s-1, the maximum saturation pulse intensity is 6000 μmol m-2 s-1.

Measuring Head MICRO-HEAD/3B

General Design

Housing: Polymer housing with optical block and fiber connector on one side, and a combined power line/RS485 socket on the opposite side

MICRO HEAD/BK Leaf Clip: Consisting of 2 aluminum frames (3.5 x 2.5 cm), held together by magnet, 0.4 cm distance between sample plane of leaf clip and lightguide, angle between sample plane and optical light guide: 60°

Cables: RS 485 data/power cable, 10 m standard length, connecting MICRO-HEAD/3B and MICRO IB4 PC Interface Box. RS 485 adapter cable, 0.6 m long, to connect MICRO-HEAD/3B to optional PC Interface Box MONI IB4/LAN or to optional MONI DA system for data acquisition

Flexible stand: Baseplate of acrylic glass 10 x 10 x 0.5 cm (L x W x H); flexible goose neck consisting of 20 links, 1.7 cm maximum diameter, 30 cm length, one end with metal thread equipped with 1 butterfly nut, 1 nut and 2 washers. Weight 114 g

Dimensions: Complete head with leaf clip, 13.5 x 3.5 x 4 cm (L x W x H)

Power consumption: Peak loads during saturating pulses 3 W. During measuring mode 0.15 W

Operating temperature: -15 to +40 °C

Weight: 96 g

Light Emission

Modulated fluorescence excitation: Blue power LED (typical peak wavelength 470 nm, full width at half maximum 22 nm). Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) of measuring light at level of the sample clip range from 0.15 to 1.5 μmol m-2 s-1 at low modulation frequencies (5 to 25 Hz), and from 1.5 to 22.5 μmol m-2 s-1 at high modulation frequencies (100 Hz)

Actinic light: Same power LED as for modulated light. At sample level of leaf clip, 3000 μmol m-2 s -1span> maximum PAR of actinic light, 8000 μmol m-2 s-1 maximum PAR of saturating flashes


Fluorescence: PIN-photodiode protected by longpass filter (50% transmittance at 645 nm). Selective window amplifier to measure pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorescence.

Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR): External LS-C sensor for selective PAR measurement, range 0 to 7000 μmol m-2 s-1, cosine-corrected for light incident at angles between -30° to +30° from the surface normal

Temperature: Thermocouple: Ni-CrNi, wire diameter 0.1 mm, -20 to +60 °C

Humidity: Capacitive-type humidity sensor on a specialized analog and digital integrated circuit, 0 - 100% relative humidity

Data Acquisition MONI-DA

Housing: Robust water-proof cylinder consisting of a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tube and poly-oxymethylene (POM) endplates. One endplate with 2 male M12 5-pole sockets connected in parallel (MONI-IB4/LAN communication, charging voltage), one male M12 5-pole socket for auxiliaries, and 7 female M12 5-pole sockets (MONI-HEAD/485 communication)

Dimensions: Cylinder with diameter of 16 cm and length of 24 cm

Data management: Dual data storage on internal 8 MByte circular flash buffer and an industrial grade 512 MByte removable microSD flash card. Wireless data transfer via cellular phone or satellite modem. Online data transfer using RS-485 serial data communication.

Power consumption: 5 mW in standby mode. Operating mode, depends on the number of MONIHEAD/485 connected (see MONI-HEAD/485 power consumption)

Battery: 12 V / 7.5 Ah (96 Wh) LiFePO4 battery.

Operating temperature: -30 to +60 °C

Weight: 5.4 kg

PC Interface Box MICRO-IB4

Housing: Aluminum case with USB-B socket, power supply socket, and four M12 5-pole sockets for RS-485 communication

Links: The interface box connects up to four MICRO-HEAD/3B Measuring Heads with a computer. These connection cables also power the measuring heads. USB communication is used between interface box and computer

Cables: Recommended maximum lengths, 10 m RS-485 cable between measuring head and interface, 1.8 m USB cable between interface and computer

Dimensions: : 9.7 x 6.3 x 3.5 cm (L x W x H)

Operating temperature: 0 to +40 °C

Weight: 270 g

Software WinControl-3

Program: WinControl-3 System Control and Data Acquisition Program (Windows 7, 8, 10) for operation of the MICRO-PAM system, data acquisition and data analysis

Saturation Pulse Analysis: WinControl-3 System Control and Data Acquisition Program (Windows 7, 8, 10) for operation of the MICRO-PAM system, data acquisition and data analysis

Program: Measured: Ft, F0, FM, F, F0' (also calculated), FM'. Calculated: F0' (also measured), FV/FM and Y(II) (maximum and effective photochemical yield of PS II, respectively), qL, qP, qN, NPQ, Y(NPQ), Y(NO) and ETR (electron transport rate). Fitting Routines: Two routines for determination of the cardinal points α, Ik and ETRmax of light curves

Further date acquired: PAR, leaf temperature, humidity

Additional feature: Automatic determination of signal offset for all light intensities and all gain levels

Communication Protocol: USB

Computer Requirements: Processor, 1 GHz. RAM, 512 MB. Screen resolution, 1024 x 600 pixels. Interface, USB 2.0/3.0

Solar Panel MONI-SP

Design: Polycrystalline silicon panel. Highly resistant to water, abrasion, hail impact and other severe weather conditions. Equipped with a 4 m cable and plug for the AUX or INPUT socket of the Data Acquisition System MONI-DA. Several panels can be connected in parallel to provide sufficient power under conditions of low insolation

Electrical characteristics: Vmax, 15.0 V, Imax, 0.63 A (at 1000 W/m2 sunlight). VOC, 19.6 V. ISC, 0.80 A

Dimensions: 50 x 35 cm (L x W)

Weight: 1.2 kg (incl. cable and plug)

Transport Box

Design: Aluminum box with custom foam packing for MONITORING-PAM including MONI-DA

Dimensions: 80 cm x 40 cm x 34 cm (L x W x H); 60 liter

Weight: 4.9 kg

Accessories for STAND-ALONE Configuration

Four-Way Distributor MICRO-HUB

Housing: Aluminum case with one M12 5-pole connector and four M8 5-pole connectors

Links: The interface box connects up to four MICRO-HEAD/3B Measuring Heads to one single MONI-BUS port of a MONI-DA data acquisition system

Recommended maximum cable lengths: 10 m between MICRO-HEAD/3B and MICRO-HUB, and between MICRO-HUB and MONI-DA

Dimensions: 10 x 6 x 3.5 cm (L x W x H)

Weight: 228 g

Operating temperature: -30 to +40 °C

PC Interface USB-0

Housing: Plastic block with one USB-B line and one line for RS-485 communication firmly attached

Interfacing: The interface cable connects a USB port of a computer with the input socket of the MONI-DA.

Cable lengths: USB: 0.9 m. RS-485, 2 m

Dimensions of block: 4.5 x 3.0 x 1.5 cm (L x W x H)

Weight including cables: 145 g

Operating temperature: 0 to +40 °C

Satellite Modem

Specification depend on available devices at the time of order

The MICRO-HEAD / 3B is equipped with a sample clip. The cosine-response PAR sensor is positioned parallel to the sample plane. A thermocouple touching the lower sample side measures temperature. Humidity is measured by a capacitive-type sensor located inside the fluorometer housing. On request, a special stand will be provided to mount the MICRO-HEAD / 3B on solid surfaces.

MICRO-PAM systems can be operated in the ONLINE configuration in which up to four measuring heads can be connected via the MICRO-IB4 PC Interface Box to an USB port of a Windows computer running WinControl-3. In the OFFLINE configuration, measuring heads are connected directly or via the so-called MINI-HUB to a MONI-DA data acquisition system.

The WinControl-3 is a very versatile software dedicated to operate a certain class of Walz PAM fluorometers. The software executes classical experimental routines like fluorescence induction and light response curves, but also acquires and graphically display data.

WinControl-3 not only operates the MICRO PAM but also the DIVING-PAM-II, JUNIOR-PAM, MINI-PAM-II, and MONITORING-PAM fluorometers, as well as PAM-CONTROL operated instruments (MICROSCOPY-PAM, MICROFIBER-PAM and WATER-PAM) and the Universal Light Meter ULM-500.

Data Evaluation:
Saturating pulse analysis with automatic detection of fluorescence levels F0, FM, F, and FM’. Calculation of F0’ level fluorescence and of standard fluorescence parameters. Specifically, photochemical yield of photosystem II, FV/FM and Y(II), photochemical quenching, qP and qL, non-photochemical quenching, qN, NPQ, Y(NPQ), and Y(NO), and electron transport rate, ETR.

Advanced Features:
All experimental protocols can be performed automatically using the batch file feature of WinControl-3. Convenient programming of experiments using the built-in macro recorder. The software is capable of DDE communication with peripheral machines.

Automated Routines:
Repetitive triggering of fluorometer functions (e. g., dark-light induction and dark recovery curves) by adjustable clock. Automatic execution of light exposure protocols and fitting of two different model functions to data of light response experiments.

Data Export:
Export in CSV (comma-separated values) format of original fluorescence traces, saturating pulse analysis data and parameter estimates of light response curves.

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