Initial alignment and maintenance

The laser beam should exit the laser and pass through conditioning optics.  Use low power alignment modes to align the laser, using kinematic mirror mounts, posts and post bases.  A beam height reference should be used to maintain laser height around the table.

When steering up into the system, the beam should be parallel to the vertical translation of the microscope by the large steel translation rail.  This will ensure constant alignment during vertical height adjustment.

Along the system, the beam should hit approximately center at all steering mirrors.  This will ensure constant alignment during translation of the microscope system.  (+/- 1mm)

Once the scan mirrors are hit, they can be rotated carefully to center the scan square (after the scan lens) on the optical axis.  Use the provided phosphorescence laser viewing card, as short wavelength light will not pass through the main dichroic.  Before screwing in the objective, verify the stationary spot location and size at the objective back aperture.  Proper filling of the back aperture directly determines excitation NA and hence both resolution and brightness of signal.  If the beam is not stationary, the tube lens may need adjustment via the translation set screws.  A beam that is not stationary on the back aperture may cause some vignetting.