Orion SteadyStar LF Adaptive Optics Guider
You can now operate your SteadyStar LF Adaptive Optics Guider with MaxIm DL (5.19 or later) imaging software! A plug-in is now available for download in the SteadyStar LF Adaptive Optics Guider product support section.
If you’re serious about astrophotography, Orion brings you a new way to assure the best tracking performance possible, even in adverse conditions.
The SteadyStar LF Adaptive Optics Guider (AO) makes any imaging-capable mount, even if a modest one, perform more effectively. Precise tracking is one of the most critical facets of astrophotography and this tracking is limited to the accuracy of your mount, plus external factors like wind and atmospheric seeing conditions. The SteadyStar LF AO Guider overcomes these limitations and challenges and takes control with super fast and accurate guiding.
The SteadyStar LF Adaptive Optics Guider is ideal for use with large format CCD and DSLR sensors with its larger 50mm diameter optical window (48mm clear aperture). The larger window provides full field illumination to take full advantage of devices equipped with larger sensors, such as 35mm format CCD cameras.
Traditional autoguiding involves moving the mount and telescope, along with all of your attached imaging accessories to correct for tracking errors. Furthermore, autoguiding can typically only make a single correction every couple of seconds or so; during that time your tracking is vulnerable to periodic error from your mount, wind, and atmospheric seeing conditions.
Better Than Traditional Autoguiding
Orion illustrated a smaller cropped portion below of the same two images of NGC 281 magnified at 200%. The difference seen inthe faint star field is immediate. The SteadyStar improves the tracking performance resulting in sharper stars, rounder stars, and improved image contrast.
How Does it Work?
The SteadyStar LF AO Guider can easily make several tracking corrections in one second without lugging the weight and inertia of the whole telescope. Rather than move all that weight, the SteadyStar LF AO Guider makes guiding corrections by tilting its 50mm on-board optical window, allowing for quick and precise movements several times faster than any traditional autoguider could ever hope to correct. A slight tilt of the optical window actually moves the imaging plane of your camera. This refractive correction, while different than the adaptive optics used in professional observatories, is capable of making extremely fast movements to overcome even the most severe tracking errors. Even though most tracking errors can be compensated by tilting the optical window, the SteadyStar LF will still send corrections to your mount like a traditional autoguider if the optical window’s tilt range is exceeded.
Fast Guiding Corrections
The SteadyStar LF AO Guider is capable of correcting motion more than 40 times per second, depending on guide star brightness, autoguider camera used, and computer speed. This means you will overcome your mount’s periodic error, wind, and even compensate for some of the negative effects of turbulent seeing conditions. Quite simply, the SteadyStar LF is the fastest AO Guider used for amateur astrophotography on the market today!
Boost Your Astro-Imaging Performance
With the SteadyStar LF AO Guider attached, even a modestly priced mount will perform like the most high-end expensive mount! The SteadyStar LF’s broad compatibility with imaging cameras and autoguiders makes it even more attractive. It works with any Orion CCD camera and autoguider, as well as other popular imaging cameras like DSLRs.
The SteadyStar LF AO Guider was designed to fit right in with your astronomers gear, requiring only 90mm of inward focus travel when used with Orion imaging cameras. In fact, you can add up to 30mm worth of accessories, such as a filter wheel, to the SteadyStar without adding to the total backfocus.
The 50mm diameter on board optical window supports APS-C and larger 35mm format sensors. SteadyStar software is included for full guiding control to both your mount and the AO Guider, and it can communicate with MaxIm DL to enable advanced imaging features as exposure sequences and dithering. Windows XP, Vista 32/64 bit and Windows 7 compatible.
A hard carry case is included as well as a 10’ USB cable, 10" autoguiding cable, and 12 V DC power cable.