Apogee Imaging Systems - Alta F16000 Interline - Monochrome CCD Camera - Grade 2
- 1 to 8 MHz 16-Bit digitization
- 32 MByte camera memory
- Argon filled moisture-free sensor chamber
- Subarray readout and fast sequencing modes
- 32/64 bit ActiveX drivers included with every system
- Programmable cooling to 65°C below ambient
- General purpose programmable I/O port
- Adjustable fan speed for low/zero vibration
- Programmable status indicators
- AR coated silica windows
- Liquid cooling options
The F16000 represents the next step in the evolution of the Alta line of CCD cameras with faster readout speeds and minimal readout noise. The Alta F16000 has a 16-megapixel Interline Transfer sensor with high quantum efficiency, low noise and small pixels. Two LEDs on the side of the camera can be programmed to show status of a variety of camera functions, such as if the camera has reached the pre-set temperature, the shutter is open, or the camera is waiting for an external trigger. Also, the LEDs can be turned off if you are concerned about stray light. The Alta system loads all camera operating code on camera start. These configuration files can be updated via the web as Apogee Imaging Systems adds features or makes improvements. Each camera head has coded information identifying the type of system, its configuration, and type of CCD used, as well as the firmware revision in use. This allows automatic configuration of the camera in the field. To maximize heat dissipation, Alta’s large inner chamber, back plate, and heatsinks are machined from a single block of aluminum. Four cooling fans have four programmable speeds. Alta camera systems include a 12V international power supply (100V-240V input), but can be operated from a clean 12V source. The F16000 features the state-of-the-art Kodak KAI-16000 Interline Transfer sensor (below right). The KAI-16000 includes features such as progressive scan readout, electronic shutter, low noise, high dynamic range, microlensing, efficient binning and anti-blooming, all in a full 35mm optical format.
Why an Interline Transfer CCD sensor?
The key difference between Interline Transfer, Frame Transfer and Full Frame sensors is where the pixel charge is stored after it is acquired and during the next integration period while the current image is being read out of the sensor.
The key advantage of Interline Transfer CCDs is that the charge from an active integration pixel can be very quickly shifted to a storage pixel area. This allows the active pixels to be reset and to acquire the next image in the next integration period while the pixel charges from the previous image are being clocked down the storage pixel columns and out the sensor via the shift register. So both image acquisition and readout is happening in parallel which facilitates faster frame rates that can result in electronic shutter times less than a microsecond.
In Interline Transfer CCD sensors, each and every pixel has a charge storage area next to it. The charge storage area of each pixel is masked so that photons cannot hit it. This all but eliminates "smear" or blooming caused by "spill" from adjacent pixels. The pixel storage areas form a vertical column to the bottom of the sensor. This vertical column is used to transport the pixel charges down and out the bottom of the sensor. The light sensitive pixel area (active area) is electrically separated from the storage pixel area and so the active pixel area can act independently of the storage area. At the end of the integration period the charge in every active pixel is shifted to its adjacent pixel storage area. At this point the active pixel area is reset and the next integration period starts while the charges in the storage pixels are clocked down to the bottom of the sensor. This is comparable to a bucket brigade where you have a row of buckets full of water (electrons) where the last bucket empties its contents before it is filled by the water from the bucket before it, and when the bucket before it is empty it in turn is filled by the water in the bucket before that and so on. This happens with all pixels on a line simultaneously so that lines of pixel charges are clocked down together. This in fact is where a CCD gets its name - Charge Coupled Device - charges are coupled pixel by pixel and transported out of the sensor.
It's Cold in here!
The Apogee Cooling System has long been one of the most advanced in the industry. The Alta control system has been expanded to 12 bits, allowing a temperature control range of 213K to 313K (-60 to +40 C) with 0.024 degree resolution. Sensors have been added to monitor the heat sink temperature. A power indicator has
been added to give the user an idea of how much drive is being given to the CCD cooler. The automatic back-off function is now handled by the firmware and driver. If the system cannot reach the desired temperature, the system automatically backs off to a point where regulation can be maintained, 2 degrees above the maximum temperature reached. The new set point is given to the user. Cooling deltas of 40-70C (depending on sensor area) are typical with simple air cooling.
For customers desiring heat dissipation away from the camera housing, Apogee offers liquid recirculation backs (optional) for most Alta cameras. The fans for the Alta® systems were chosen for the absolute minimum vibration. In most environments, the movement of the fans will not be detectable when the cameras are attached to a microscope or telescope. However, for those customers with exceptionally demanding applications, Alta fans may be turned off, or run at reduced speeds while still maintaining adequate cooling. The optional liquid circulation headsinks may also be used to minimize vibration. Apogee offers optional Alta liquid recirculation backplates as well as temperature-regulated liquid recirculators for customers wanting to remove heat dissipation from the area of the camera; wanting to house the camera inside an enclosure; or wanting supplemental cooling. The limitation? The temperature of the recirculating liquid must not go below the dew point.
Filter Wheels, Wheeee!
Apogee AFW50-9R, AFW50-7S, and AFW50-10S Filter Wheels for Alta Models. The AFW50 series of filter wheels provide large format filtering solutions for all Alta cameras with large format CCDs, such as the F16000. The AFW50-9R filter wheel provides 9 positions for 50mm / 2” round filters. The AFW50-7S and AFW50-10S provide 7 and 10 positions for 50mm / 2” square filters, respectively. The filter wheel is controlled via USB 2.0. Apogee was the first to provide a precision locking mechanism on their filter wheels for accurate positioning of each filter each time.
All Alta systems are backed by a 2 year warranty on the camera and lifetime warranty on the CCD chamber integrity.
And that's not all Folks!
For much more information, specs, and technical data on this Alta series CCD platform such as Pixel Binning, Anti-Blooming, Quantum Efficiency, System Noise, Dark Current, Pixel Size, Array Size, PC Interface, Digital Resolution, etc. please use the SPECIFICATIONS tab above. mc
|Manufacturer||Apogee Imaging Systems|
|Additional Information||Image Sequencing: 1 to 65535 image sequences under software control|
|Array||4872 (H) x 3248 (V) pixels (15.8 million pixels)|
|Backfocus Distance||Standard: 1.005" (2.56 cm). Low profile: 0.585" (1.5 cm). High cooling: 1.358" (3.45cm). optical|
|Binning Options||1 x 1 to 8 x 3248 on chip|
|CCD Image Area||36 x 24mm|
|CCD Quality||Gr 2|
|CCD Type||Interline Transfer|
|Communication Ports||Programmable I/O port|
|Computer Interface||USB 2.0|
|Cooling||Programmable Thermoelectric cooler w/ forced air. Max cooling 65° below ambient; liquid cooling optional|
|Dark Current||(typical) <0.01 e-/pixel/sec (-25°C)|
|Digital Resolution||16 bits to 8 MHz|
|CCD Dimensions||36.1 mm (H) x 24.0 mm (W)|
|Dimensions||6" x 6 " x 2.5"|
|Exposure||20 milliseconds to 183 minutes (2.56 microsecond increments)|
|Filter Wheel||Optional: 9 round, 7 square, 10 square - (all 50mm)|
|Full Well Capacity||30K electrons|
|Material||Aluminum, hard blue anodized|
|Memory||32 MByte camera memory|
|Optical Coatings||AR coated silica windows|
|Peak QE||48% (500nm)|
|Pixel Size||7.4 x 7.4 microns|
|Power Requirements||40W maximum power w/ cooling @ maximum, AC/DC supply w/ intl AC input or 12V DC input|
|Read Noise||(system) 9 e- RMS at 1MHz|
|Shutter||Electronic low profile, 63mm std or high cooling|
|Software Features||32/64 bit ActiveX drivers|
|Thermal Stability||+/- 0.1°C|
|Thread on front of camera||Nikon F or Canon FD or EOS|
|USB Cable||5 meters between hubs|
|Warranty||2yr on camera and lifetime on CCD chamber integrity|