About the QSI 660 WSG CCD Camera
The QSI 660wsg CCD camera employs a 6.1 megapixel Sony CCD imaging sensor. The ICX694 offers remarkable sensitivity with a peak QE of over 77%. The high sensitivity, wide dynamic range, dual read rates, low noise, integrated guide port (allowing astronomers to guide using the light from the main telescope while picking off the light from the guide star in front of the filters), and internal 5 position color filter wheel makes the QSI 660wsg ideally suited to a broad range of demanding imaging applications. The superb imaging performance of 660 WSG camera is wrapped in an attractive, compact design with outstanding power efficiency and investment protecting upgradeability. The refined engineering and impressive fit, finish, and attention to detail will surpass your highest expectations. The QSI 660wsg camera system is supported by industry-leading astronomy and microscopy image acquisition software, and a full camera control API is available for creating custom Windows or Linux applications.
QSI 660WSG CCD Camera Highlights
- The QSI 660 camera comes with a Sony ICX694 sensor, with 6.1MP and a peak QE of 77%
- All WSG models include an Integrated Guider Port (IGP)
- A 5-Position Color Filter Wheel comes ready for your threaded 1.25" filters
- High-speed USB 2.0 with 16-bit output
- Dual read rates of 800kHz and 8MHz with virtually undetectable read noise
- Electronic shutter speeds to 100 microseconds
- Internal, even-illumination mechanical shutter for dark & bias frames
- Intelligent, programmable two-stage TEC cooling to 45C below ambient
- ASCOM-compatible Windows COM API
About the Sony ICX694 Imaging Sensor
The QSI 660wsg camera employs a Sony ExView ICX694 interline transfer CCD image sensor with micro-lensing technology. The Sony ICX694 has exceptional sensitivity across the visual band, with peak quantum efficiency of 77%. The dark current (<0.002 electrons per second at -10° C) is amazingly low. The sensor has anti-blooming protection and a fast electronic shutter. Microlenses cover the surface of the CCD to focus the light into each 4.54µm pixel, thereby increasing the optical response.
Sony ICX694 Specifications
- CCD Architecture: Interline Transfer
- Anti-Blooming: Yes - 800x suppression
- Imager Size: 12.48 mm Wide x 9.98 mm High
- Pixel Array: 2758 x 2208 active pixels
- Total Number of Pixels: 6.1 megapixels
- Pixel Size: 4.54µm x 4.54µm
- Quantum Efficiency: Peak: 77% at 560nm
- Dark Current: <0.002 electrons per second at -10°C
- Intrinsic Read Noise: <7 electrons RMS (typically 5e- RMS)
About QSI Two-Stage TEC Cooling
The QSI 660wsg has 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 45°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 (sold separately) can be attached to the rear of the camera body to increase the cooling further, up to 55°C below the temperature of the circulating fluid.
The cooled CCD image sensor is positioned in a hermetically sealed environmental chamber and covered with an anti-reflection precision optical window. The sealed chamber is purged with an ultra dry noble gas to increase heat conduction and eliminate the possibility of frost forming inside the chamber. To extend the useful period before re-purging is required, a user-rechargeable micro-sieve desiccant is employed to scavenge water molecules that enter the chamber. It is located behind a sub-micron, gas-permeable membrane to prevent particulate contamination of the CCD chamber.
QSI Integrated Guide Port WSG Upgrade
The QSI 600 Series WSG cameras provides a solution to the problems normally associated with guiding by integrating a Guider Port directly into the camera body. The pick-off prism is designed to sit in front of the filters so that you will always have all the star's light available for guiding.
The large 1/2" square pick-off prism of the integrated guide port is optimally positioned close to the internal filter wheel, supporting the use of guide cameras with large sensors, while preventing any vignetting of the main sensor, even with very fast optical systems. The Integrated Guide Port (IGP) is designed to support any camera with 12.5mm of back focus or less that can be attached using C-mount or T-mount threads.
The threaded adapter sits on top of the focus ring and allows the guide camera to be rotated to any position. The focus ring threads onto the focus base to allow 3mm of travel when focusing the guide camera. Once focus is achieved, the focus ring is locked with a set screw. The guide camera can still be rotated manually if desired without changing the focus. The end result is a rigid, easily focused guide camera that will not move or flex while your mount tracks the apparent motion of the night sky.