SBIG Aluma AC Series
The Aluma AC Series is SBIG's newest, most advanced CMOS large format camera built for astronomical imaging systems. Its super-advanced design allows for high speed download via the USB 3.0 connection to the control computer. The Aluma AC4040 Front-Side Illuminated (FSI) model has a peak quantum efficiency of 74%, with this peak being much broader and flatter through the visible spectrum - from 450 nm through to over 900 nm! You'll notice that the overall sensitivity of this camera is much higher than its CCD predecessor.
The Aluma AC4040 CMOS camera is equipped with StackPro™, which is a revolutionary feature that actually performs image stacking inside the camera! While modern CMOS sensors generally have limited well and bit depths than CCD's, they have much lower read noise than their CCD equivalents. This low read noise is advantageous because you can then stack many shorter exposures to achieve the same final result in your image. It should be noted that this will result in a lot of extra disk usage and post-processing. StackPro™ performs the stacking automatically, inside the camera by automatically subdividing your exposure into a maximum of 16 individual subexposures and stacking them inside the camera prior to download. This will eliminate the excessive amounts of data that can clutter your hard drive. Stacking can also be used as an alternative to HDR mode.
The GPixel GSENSE4040 CMOS sensor inside of the Aluma AC4040 series is also capable of operating in HDR mode, where high-gain and low-gain images are read out simultaneously. A MaxIm DL plug-in is available for HDR merge, making the process of producing highly linear, clean images extremely simple.
The Aluma AC400 series is also equipped with SmartCooling™ intelligent thermoelectric cooling and fan operation. This is designed with a pin heatsink that is shared with leading STX series cameras to get the heat out while providing low vibration. For higher ambient temperature environments, there is also a liquid cooling option that will help to minimize dark current while improving thermal performance. These cameras also feature a high-tech user-replaceable cartridge with ceramic filter and molecular sieve desiccant. You can easily recharge this desiccant yourself without having to ship it off to the factory when it eventually saturates out. This feature is especially important in high-humidity locations.
The GSENSE CMOS sensor features an electronic rolling shutter, while the Aluma AC series cameras include a mechanical shutter to permit convenient dark-frame subtraction for optimal performance and sensitivity. This is necessary for remote / robotic operation.
Aluma AC series cameras are fitted with a USB 3.0 interface port that is also compatible with USB 2.0 for installations where longer cable lengths are necessary. You will also receive MaxIm LT software with these cameras, which is a special version of the MaxIm DL software for Windows that provides complete control of your camera, filter wheel, and autoguider. Plus, you have access to advanced image processing capabilities! You can always upgrade to MaxIm DL Pro software to gain complete observatory integration and even more processing / analysis capabilities.