The new high performance Aluma® CCD Series cameras offer capabilities and features not available in any other scientific-grade imaging camera. This lightweight (2.2 lbs) and compact (4.5″ x 4.5″ x 4″ with handles) camera includes two-stage cooling, USB 2.0 interface, ultra-reliable even-illumination shutter, and fast low-noise readout.
The Aluma CCD series supports a wide range of accessories, including the 8-position FW8S-Aluma filter wheel with micron-level filter positioning, StarChaser SC-2 off-axis guide camera, and AO-8A Adaptive Optics accessory.
The Aluma CCD47-10 has an extremely high sensitivity, 1 megapixel back-illuminated CCD sensor with 13.3 micron pixels. These are research-grade cameras designed for longer focal length instruments typically with apertures greater than 40 cm.
Aluma CCD is a new generation of research cameras tuned for even better performance. Over two years of collaboration with university researchers helped us bring you an enhanced new Aluma CCD series that represent the ultimate in a high-performance mid-sized 16-bit CCD detector. Using E2V’s best-in-class research grade back-illuminated sensors, the Aluma CCD47-10 gives you the high sensitivity, low noise, and high well depth needed for the most demanding research applications.
Aluma CCD Features include:
- High-performance CCD imaging sensors currently manufactured by SONY and Teledyne E2V
- Light weight, compact design
- Centered optical axis for optimum instrument balance
- Ultra reliable even-illumination (photometric) mechanical shutter
- USB 2.0 interface
- Full frame image buffering eliminates readout artifacts
- 2-Stage TE cooling with typical -50C from ambient
- Twin variable speed fans with SmartCoolingTM technology
- High accuracy temperature regulation
- Built-in RBI Pre-flash (full frame front-illuminated sensors only)
- External TTL trigger inputs and output
- Included 110V / 220V power supply and optional 12VDC operation
- User-rechargeable desiccant plug
- Built-in 1/4-20 tripod mount
- Support for high precision 8-position filter wheels
- Works with StarChaser SC-2 off-axis guide camera and AO-8A adaptive optics
- Bulletproof firmware update capability – virtually impossible to “brick”
Advanced Software Included
All Aluma CCD models ship with MaxIm LT for Windows – a special version of MaxIm DL specific to our cameras. Aluma CCD also supports third-party applications through ASCOM and native drivers.
Compact and Lightweight Design
Aluma CCD cameras measure just 4.25″ x 4.25″ x 4.0″ with handles (3.5″ without handles) and weigh just 2.2 lbs (1 kg).
All Aluma CCD cameras include a mechanical shutter, which is used for both dark/bias calibration frames and for shuttering exposures on full frame sensors. Rather than using a complex iris shutter, which are prone to failure, the Aluma CCD uses a twin vane shutter and direct drive motor for high repeatability, reliability, and extremely long life. The shutter is designed to be “even illumination” for the best accuracy in photometric measurements.
The left image shows a flat field image taken with a camera using an iris type shutter. The right image is a flat field image taken under the same conditions using our even-illumination shutter.
Extreme Sensitivity CCD 47-10 Image Sensor
The Aluma CCD47-10 uses the 1 megapixel E2V CCD 47-10 sensor, featuring peak quantum efficiency (QE) of 93% with midband coatings. This full frame, back-illuminated sensor is designed for the ultimate in sensitivity. The sensor is available with midband, broadband, and UV coatings to optimize performance in different spectral regions. (Midband is the default coating.)
CCD 47-10 Quantum Efficiency Curves
The CCD 47-10 has 1056 x 1027 pixels at 13 microns square, for a 13.3 mm square chip size.
This back-illuminated full-frame CCD sensor has extremely low noise and extremely high sensitivity. Combining this high-performance sensor with Aluma CCD’s high cooling performance and low readout noise results in exceptionally clean images.
All Aluma CCD cameras include our powerful new SmartCooling technology. The two-stage cooler, powerful fans, and advanced heat sink designed using thermal flow simulation combine to produce typical cooling delta from ambient of -50C. This is quite a feat considering the Aluma CCD’s very compact and lightweight package.
SmartCooling automatically adjusts the fan speed to optimize cooler performance and power consumption. The camera’s firmware is constantly monitoring the sensor and heat sink temperatures, as well as controlling the cooler power. When full cooling power is needed – when ramping down or running near full power – the fans ramp up to their maximum speed, resulting in the strongest possible cooling. When less cooling power is needed the fans automatically slow to reduce noise levels and power consumption. SmartCooling also prevents any possibility of overheating by backing off power if the heat sink gets too hot – so you don’t need to worry if your camera is baking in a hot observatory during the day.
Advanced Software Included
All Aluma CCD cameras come with our MaxIm LT software – a $200 value! MaxIm LT is a special version of our venerable MaxIm DL software that provides complete control of your camera, filter wheel, and autoguider, plus advanced image processing capabilities. If you wish you can upgrade to MaxIm DL Pro to get complete observatory integration and even more processing and analysis capabilities.
Each Aluma CCD camera package includes:
- MaxIm LT software – please use this form to request your license
- Deluxe carrying case
- Universal power supply (110V / 220V, 50-60 Hz)
- 2″ Nosepiece adapter
- USB flash drive containing software, drivers, and documentation
- 15 foot (4.5 m) USB cable