QSI RS 8.3ws-8 8.3mp Cooled CCD Camera w/Mechanical Shutter & 8-pos Color Filter Wheel

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QSI RS 8.3ws-8 8.3mp Cooled CCD Camera w/Mechanical Shutter & 8-pos CFW
SKU: QSI-RS8.3ws-8
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Product Description

The QSI RS 8.3sw-8  model camera employs an 8.3mp Kodak KAF-8300 full-frame CCD image sensor with Microlens Technology.  With the widest field of view and highest resolution in the RS Series, wide dynamic range and dual read rates,  the QSI RS 8.3ws-8 is ideally suited to a broad range of demanding scientific and astronomical imaging applications.

Full Frame Image Sensor:
How sensitive a CCD it to light is expressed as its Quantum Efficiency (QE).  Higher QE means you can collect more photons in any given amount of time giving you better looking images with a higher Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR).  The KAF-8300 sensor has a photoactive array of 3326W x 2504H pixels. It has excellent quantum efficiency between 350nm and 1000nm with peak QE over 60%. Low dark current and high pixel charge capacity result in a dynamic range exceeding 70db. Micro lenses cover the surface of the CCD to focus the light through the transparent gate to further increase optical response. The sensor employs a true two-phase charge transfer technology with a transparent gate that significantly increases optical response compared to traditional front illuminated full frame sensors.  High sensitivity is almost purely a function of the CCD. However, even with the same CCD, the Signal to Noise Ratio between two different cameras can be dramatically different especially in the fainter, lower signal areas of an image.  These lower signal areas, such as the fringes of nebulae or dust lanes in a galaxy, often comprise some of the most interesting parts of astronomical images.  Maximizing the SNR in these dim areas is the key to revealing those otherwise hidden details.

Two separate analog processing chains, providing dual read rates, allow the QSI RS Series to meet two seemingly incompatible imaging goals. The QSI RS Series High Quality mode with a read rate of 800kHZ provides the highest possible Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) for applications that require the lowest noise and widest possible dynamic range. High Speed mode has a read rate of 8MHz providing high speed reads at multiple frames per second. The read mode is easily changed under program control providing exceptional flexibility in tuning the camera's performance to the desired imaging goals.

Mechanical Shutter:
The Model RS 8.3ws-8 camera incorporates QSI's proprietary internal, even-illumination mechanical shutter in the 'mid-size' camera body configuration. The shutter is not only used for timing exposures, but can be left closed to produce 'dark frames' for subsequent image processing. Exposures can be as short as 0.03 seconds or as long as 240 minutes. The shutter is rated for more than 1 million cycles. Exposures can be fired under software control or with the use of the hardware input trigger.
The RS Series achieves its compact size and unique configuration flexibility though an innovative shutter/filter subsystem. Both the mechanical shutter and filter wheel can be installed internally while keeping the growth of the camera dimensions at a minimum. This results in minimal loss of backfocus as these features are added. The compact design also reduces vignetting with fast optical systems.

8 Position Internal Color Filter Wheel:
The Model RS 8.3ws-8 adds an internal eight position filter wheel to the camera in a 'full-size' camera body.  Even with the large 8.3mp sensor, the short backfocus and close spacing provided by the internal color filter wheel allows the RS 8.3ws-8 to work even with optics faster than f/2.8 with no vignetting. The filter wheel accepts any standard threaded 1.25" or unmounted 31mm filters.   The filter wheel can be easily removed and replaced to change or clean the glass filters. Additional filter wheels can be purchased allowing quick interchange of different filter set configurations. 

High sensitivity, low noise, a linear response to light and precisely regulated cooling are four key traits of a scientific camera.  All are required in order to maximize the dynamic range of astro images.  Given a constant signal, lower noise increases the Signal to Noise Ratio and dynamic range, allowing the system to produce better images in less time.
All significant performance characteristics, including Linearity,Read Noise, and Photon Transfer (Gain), are tested and confirmed as the final manufacturing step. Each camera's timing and voltages are carefully set during manufacture to ensure maximum Charge Transfer Efficiency, and to minimize charge injection and other secondary noise sources. QSI's exclusive  ResearchSpec®  profiling ensures optimal performance in every camera. 

Engineered with extensive use of sophisticated CAD-CAM design tools, the QSI RS Series is CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminum alloy. The finely finished anodized body components are assembled with corrosion resistant stainless steel hardware throughout. The RS Series is designed to support image sensors with a maximum diagonal measurement of 22.5mm. For this class of camera they are surprisingly compact. At just 4.45" square, the Medium body camera is just 2.00" deep, occupying less than 30 cubic inches and weighing in at under 35 ounces. Keeping the depth of the camera to a minimum was an early design goal. Not only is backfocus minimized, but the camera moment-arm is reduced resulting in greater stability. The shutter and filter wheel were placed inside the body, very close to the image sensor reducing backfocus and overall depth. The motion control electronics are actually buried in the 0.12" thick shutter/filter mounting plate to reduce depth further. Pulling the cooling fans and heatsinks into the body resulted in another significant reduction in depth. Finally, having all electrical cables and the optional liquid heat exchanger recirculation hoses exit the body in the same direction and perpendicular to the optical axis insuring an interference-free fit in tight spaces. Small enough to practically hide behind a CD-ROM, the medium format QSI RS Series family sets new standards for full-featured, high performance scientific CCD cameras.

Key in the compact design of the RS Series cameras is a very efficient custom 2-stage thermoelectric cooler (TEC) subsystem. Intelligent, programmable cooling fans are integrated into the rear of the camera body to remove the heat generated by the cooler. Typically, forced air cooling lowers the regulated CCD temperature by up to 40°C below ambient utilizing 85% power. Tight +/- 0.1°C temperature regulation is maintained at temperature settings of 10°C below ambient and lower. A slim liquid heat exchanger  (optional) can be attached to the rear of the camera body to increase the cooling further, up to 45°C below the temperature of the circulating fluid.

A four channel optically isolated control port is accessible through a standard 6 pin modular connector. Two of the signals are used to control the input and output shutter triggers. Utilizing the hardware input trigger through the control port, exposures can be fired within 10μs.  The connector panel is thoughtfully recessed into the body of the camera for protection and provides access for all external connections. The two threaded holes on the back of the body are used to attach an optional cable restraint system to support the electrical connections as well as the recirculation hoses, if the liquid heat exchanger is employed. All QSI RS Series cameras utilize High Speed USB 2.0 port (USB 1.1 compatible) for connection to the host computer and imaging application software.  For telescope guiding the signal pin-out is compatible with most modern telescope mount drive correctors. The outputs can also be used for other control purposes when developing your own applications with the RS Series ActiveX software development toolkit.  Outputs are common emitter, open-collector and can sink up to 50ma.  Maximum voltage should not exceed 50V.

QSI RS 8.3ws-8  Included Items:

  • Fitted Foam Pelican Case
  • T-Mount camera adapter
  • Mechanical Shutter
  • 8 Position Color Filter Wheel
  • 12V DC / 90-240VAC power supply 
  • 10' USB Interface cable 
  • 10' 6P6C Control port cable 
  • QSI Software Installation software 
  • Micro-Manager Camera control software 
  • LabVIEW and MATLAB support 
  • Windows COM and Linux Developers ToolKit

QSI RS 8.3ws-8 Additional Features:

  • Compact, refined design
  • AR-coated fused silica window
  • Configurations available for UV to NIR applications from 240nm to 1100nm
  • Selectable ROI and binning
  • Input and output triggers
  • PIV exposure mode for flow visualization
  • Dual read rates up to 8 MHz
  • High-speed USB 2.0, full 16-bit output
  • Air and liquid cooling to >50C
  • Micro-Manager Microscopy Software New!
  • COM-compatible Windows API
  • Linux drivers and API
  • 8.30 megapixel Kodak KAF-8300 sensor
  • 5.4µm pixel provides high resolution
  • High Speed USB 2.0 and read rates up to 8 MHz
  • 2-Stage TEC w/ cooling to 45°C below ambient
  • Mechanical shutter
  • Broad Software support
  • ASCOM-compatible Windows COM API





Name QSI RS 8.3ws-8 8.3mp Cooled CCD Camera w/Mechanical Shutter & 8-pos Color Filter Wheel
Manufacturer QSI
Model QSI-RS8.3ws-8


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