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  • Aluma 8300

    SKU: Aluma-8300

    $3,699.00

    8.3 megapixel high-performance CCD with 5.4 micron pixels, compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, Macintosh, and Linux

    Product Shipping October 2017

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Product Description

Our mid-size SBIG® Aluma® Series cameras offer performance 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 and WiFi 802.11 b/g/n interfaces, ultra-reliable even-illumination shutter, and fast low-noise readout.  Aluma can be operated from a tablet or smartphone, or from a Windows, Macintosh, or Linux PC.

The Aluma series supports a wide range of accessories, including the 8-position FW8S-Aluma filter wheel with micron-level filter positioning, FW8G-Aluma filter wheel with built-in autoguider, AO-8A Adaptive Optics accessory, Remote Guide Head, and CLA lens adapters.

Aluma Features include:

  • Wide variety of imaging sensors
  • Light weight, compact design
  • Centered optical axis for optimum instrument balance
  • Ultra reliable even-illumination (photometric) mechanical shutter
  • Support for iOS, Android, Windows, Macintosh, and Linux
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and USB 2.0 communications interfaces
  • Full frame image buffering eliminates readout artifacts and provides 100% reliable wireless download
  • 2-Stage TE cooling for typical maximum -50C delta T
  • Twin variable speed fans
  • 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
  • Support for external guide head, self-guiding filter wheels, and adaptive optics
  • Bulletproof firmware update capability – virtually impossible to “brick”

Multi-Platform Operation

Aluma is designed to operate either via USB 2.0 or WiFi 802.11 b/g/n.  Designed from the ground-up to support operation on any modern computing platform, Aluma is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.  Fully-documented and supported drivers are available for all platforms, including ASCOM drivers.  The Aluma camera interface specification is fully documented, supporting the development of fully custom interfaces.

Software Included

All Aluma models ship with MaxIm AL for Windows – a special version of MaxIm DL specific to SBIG cameras. In addition our new Aluma software for iOS and Android is under development.  Aluma also supports third-party applications through ASCOM and native SBIG drivers.

Compact and Lightweight Design

Aluma 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).

Even-Illumination Shutter

All Aluma 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 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.

iris1The 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.

Efficient 2-Stage TE cooling

The Aluma uses two-stage TE cooling, twin variable-speed fans and a heat sink design optimized using computer thermal flow simulation.  This permits high performance using air cooling only.

High Performance KAF-8300 Image Sensor

The Aluma 8300 uses the popular 8 megapixel ON Semi (formerly Kodak) KAF-8300-AXC sensor. The sensor has 3448 x 2574 pixels at 5.4 microns square, for a 17.96 mm x 13.52 mm optical format.

This is a high sensitivity full frame CCD sensor with low dark current and low read noise.  Combining this high performance sensor with Aluma’s high cooling performance and low readout noise results in exceptionally clean images.

This sensor includes microlens technology that concentrates light on the sensitive area of each pixel.  The CCD’s sensitivity peaks in the center of the visible spectrum at 550 nm, and maintains high sensitivity throughout the visible spectrum.

KAF-8300 Quantum Efficiency

Included Accessories

Each Aluma camera package includes:

  • MaxIm AL Software
  • iOS / Android software coming soon (via app store)
  • 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
  • Tracking interface cable

Optional Micron-Precision Filter Wheel

The optional FW8S-Aluma 8-position filter wheel includes a positive centering mechanism that precisely centers each filter in the exact same position every time. This single-pixel accuracy completely eliminates ghost images of dust spots and other artifacts after flat-fielding.

Positive detent mechanism provides single-pixel filter position accuracy

flatfield2Precision flat-fielding with utlra-accurate indexing

The left-hand image shows a dust spot on the filters.  A flat-field calibration frame was taken, then the filter wheel was rotated several times before taking a second picture, which was flat-field calibrated, at right.  No evidence of the dust spot is visible.  This high precision results in the highest quality images and excellent photometric accuracy.

The Aluma wheel holds standard 36 mm filters, and inserts are available for 1-1/4″ filters, which are suitable for smaller format CCD sensors.

The Aluma filter wheel replaces the camera’s front plate, resulting in the minimum possible back-focus, ensuring that the camera / filter wheel combination will reach focus on the widest possible variety of optical systems.  Optional “CLA” adapters facilitate using the FW8S-Aluma with standard Canon and Nikon camera lenses.

fw_close1_red1-287x0Integrated autoguider with adjustable pick-off mirror and focal reducer

For astronomical imaging, the wheel is available in the FW8G-Aluma configuration.  This adds a built-in focal reducer and autoguider.  The pick-off mirror and guide camera focus can both be adjusted and locked using simple thumbscrews.  With the autoguider positioned in front of the filters, optimum guiding sensitivity is provided for all filter slots.  Using a built-in autoguider system eliminates issues with flexure, mirror shift, and other mechanical problems that can degrade guiding accuracy.

The FW8G-Aluma is thicker and does not permit use of CLA lens adapters.  Interchangeable plates are available to switch your wheel between FW8G and FW8S configuration.

Optional AO-8A Adaptive Optics

ao8

All Aluma models can operate with the AO-8A Adaptive Optics accessory.  The AO-8A uses a tip-tilt window to quickly and precisely adjust the image position in response to autoguider feedback.  With Adaptive Optics there is no backlash, stiction, or lag, and the movements are extremely precise and accurate.  This allows the AO-8A to not only remove the effects of periodic error, drift, and wind gusts, but also reduce the effects of atmospheric seeing.

For more information please see AO-8A.

 

Additional Information

A/D Converter

16 bits

Adaptive Optics Option

Y

Antiblooming

y

CCD Size

17.96 mm x 13.52 mm

Computer Interface

USB2 / WiFi 802.11 b/g/n

Cooling Delta

Typical 50 °C

Dark Current e/p/s at 0 C

0.15 e-/p/s typical

Exposure

0.1 sec minimum

Filter Size

36mm / 1.25″

Filter Wheel Option

y

Full Frame Download

~1 sec via USB

Full Well Capacity

25,000 e-

Imaging CCD

KAF-8300

Imaging / Pixel Array

3326 px x 2504 px

Internal Tracking CCD

n

OAG Option

n

OS Compatibility

Windows 32 and 64 bit, Macintosh, Linux, iOS, Android

Peak QE

56%

Pixel Digitization Rate

10 MPix/sec

Pixel Size

5.4 μm

Power

12 VDC, 5A max

Read Noise

10 e- typical

Remote Guide Head

y

Self-Guiding Filter Wheel

y

Shutter

Mechanical, Even-illumination

Temperature Regulation

y

Total Pixels

8.3 million pixels

Weight

2.2 lbs

Documentation

User’s Manual

Aluma Series user’s manual.

Coming soon.

Specification Sheet

STT-8300 technical specifications.

Coming soon.

Technical Overview

Aluma 8300 Product Information Sheet.

Coming soon.

Backfocus Table

Backfocus configuration table

Download

Software

Drivers

Aluma uses the new SBIG Gen 3 driver package.

Coming soon.

Software Development Kit

Coming soon.