Empa Platform for Image Analysis

The Empa Platform for Image Analysis (by acronym epA) consists in a set of hardware/software resources for 3D image processing/analysis and scientific visualization, available to any user of the Empa imaging facilities (optical microscopes, electron microscopes, X-ray tomography setups, FIB-SEM setups, high resolution photography setups).

It consists of two high performance workstations and one computational node installed on the Empa/Eawag compute cluster (Hypathia segment). Both types of hardware platforms have special features dedicated to 3D image processing/analysis/3D visualization, e.g., nVidia Tesla K20 GPU cards and up to 256 GBytes of memory each.

In addition to hardware resource, the epA consists in a set of commercial, open source and in house-developed software for 3D image processing/analysis and scientific visualization. The list of commercial software includes Avizo 3D, VG Studio Max, Octopus Imaging. The list of in house-developed software includes GPU processing-based tomographic reconstruction software and the Empa Bundle of ImageJ Plugins for Image Analysis (EBIPIA), developed and maintained by Beat Münch (Concrete/Construction Chemistry Laboratory, Empa).

The epA architecture is designed in order to allow users to work both interactively and by remote desktop (or shell) connection with the different hardware platforms.

The epA documentation is available on the Empa Wiki for Imaging/Image Analysis (accessible only from the Empa LAN).

The epA is maintained by the Center for X-ray Analytics and was initially funded by the Empa Board of Directors, the Departments “Materials meet Life” and Civil and Mechanical Engineering, the Laboratory for Building Science and Technology, the Protection and Physiology Laboratory and the Concrete/Construction Chemistry Laboratory.