The ATIK 11000 is a very high resolution, Large-Format Color Cooled CCD camera for astronomy. This is the top-of-the-range camera available from ATIK and is the result of extensive design and development. It incorporates a huge 35 mm x 24 mm sensor. This is the camera for the uncompromising user looking to create stunning high-resolution images.
While the other cameras in the ATIK range use Sony sensors, the Large-Format cameras incorporate Kodak devices. These have gained a great reputation in astrophotography and offer qualities not available in the Sony CCDs. However, optimum performance from the Kodak chips is only obtained with the use of highly sophisticated control electronics and advanced cooling systems, and this is where ATIK's expertise in design and build comes to the forefront. The ATIK 11000 uses the On Semiconductor KAI-11002 CCD and comes in Monochrome or One-Shot-Color versions. The resulting images can be amazingly detailed and can be printed out anA3 size or beyond or simply enjoyed on a computer monitor. The Kodak KAI-11002 Image Sensor is a high-performance 11-million pixel sensor designed for professional digital still camera applications. The 9.0-micron square pixels with micro-lenses provide high sensitivity and the large full well capacity results in high dynamic range.The Kodak sensors require dark frames to be used for calibration, and these must be taken at the same temperature as the primary image. The ATIK 11000 achieves this through the provision of full, set-point, temperature regulation using a two-stage Peltier element and fan. This can provide cooling to 38-degrees below ambient and will be suitable for the majority of conditions. For more demanding use, water can be pumped though the camera's internal heat exchanger. When water cooling is employed, the maximum amount of cooling depends on the water temperature, with approximately 45-degrees of cooling being available using water from a typical cold tap. Such efficient cooling cuts thermal noise to an absolute minimum and reduces the prevalence of hot pixels, but it raises the risk of condensation forming in or on the camera. A high-efficiency desiccant is used to dry the air inside the sensor chamber, preventing internal condensation, while condensation on the outside of the camera is avoided with the use of heater elements which gently warm the window. The power supplied to this heater is controllable through software so that it can be adapted to the environmental conditions.