Ascent® Camera Series
The Ascent Camera Series supports a variety of interline transfer sensors with high quantum efficiency and low dark current. Most cameras are available with a choice of monochrome sensor or color sensor with a Bayer mosaic. Low noise and small pixels are ideal for OEM applications, astrophotography, biological sciences, guiding / adaptive optics, and other high frame rate applications.
  • CCDs up to 29 megapixels
  • 16-bit digitization up to 16 MHz throughput
  • Dual channel CCD support
  • Video focus mode
  • USB 2.0 interface: no plug in cards or external controllers
  • Programmable, intelligent cooling to 35°C below ambient
  • Binning up to 8 Horizontal x CCD height
  • Subarray readout and fast sequencing modes
  • Programmable offset and gain
  • External triggering and strobe controls
  • ActiveX drivers included with every system
  • Field upgradeable firmware
  • Fused silica window
  • Optional 6-position 1" or 8-position 1.25" filter wheels
  • Optional C-mount, Nikon F-mount, or 2" slip fit adapter
  • Single 6V supply
  • Compact enclosure: 23 oz. (0.65 kg)
  • Programmable status indicators

* Warranty 2 years parts and labor
* 3 year warranty against condensation

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Ascent Overview

Driver Compatibility
The Ascent® maintains compatibility with the Apogee SDK used for Alta® and previous models. Applications written for Alta are compatible with Ascent.

Progressive Scan and Continuous Imaging Modes
Interline transfer CCDs first shift charge from the photodiode in each pixel to the masked storage diode, and then march the charge through the storage diodes to the serial register. Acquisition of a new image in the photodiodes during readout of the previous image is called "progressive scan." Alta® and Ascent® cameras both support progressive scan with interline CCDs.

Image Sequences
Image sequences of up to 65535 images can be acquired and transferred to camera / computer memory automatically. A delay may be programmed between images from 327 microseconds to 21.43 seconds. (This does not mean you can acquire images every 327 microseconds; it means you can program a delay of 327 microseconds between the end of a readout and the start of the next exposure.)

The Ascent® platforms allow for three types of image sequencing:

  • Application-Driven Sequencing: This is the most common form of image sequencing. The application merely takes a specified number of successive images. This type of sequencing is suitable when the time between image acquisitions is not short and where slight differences in timing from image to image are not important.

  • Precision back to back sequencing Altas and Ascents incorporate a firmware controlled back to back image sequencing mode suitable for image-image intervals from 327uS to a maximum of 21.43 seconds in 327uS intervals. This provides for precision spacing of images in a sequence where windows applications cannot respond.

  • Fast back to back sequencing (Ratio Imaging - Interlines only) This is a special form of precision back to back sequencing designed for a fixed <1 microsecond spacing between a pair of interline CCD exposures. The caveat with this mode is that the exposure times for each image must be greater than the readout time for the image. For example, if using the Ascent A2000 camera, the readout time for a full frame is less than 0.2 seconds so your exposure would need to be at least 0.2 seconds.

System Specifications
PC InterfaceUSB 2.0
Digital Resolution16 bit
System Noise (typical)5.9 e- RMS at 3 MHz (A285); 10.6 e- RMS at 3 MHz (A4050)
Exposure Time100 microseconds to 183 minutes (2.56 microsecond increments)
Image Sequencing1 to 65535 image sequences under software control
Frame SizesFull frame, subframe
Cooling (typical)Thermoelectric cooler with forced air. Maximum cooling 30-35°C below ambient temperature.
Dark Current (typical)A285: 0.0999 e-/pixel/sec, A4050: 0.0111 e-/pixel/sec
Temperature Stability+/- 0.1°C
Operating Environment-30° to 35°C. Relative humidity: 10 to 90% non-condensing.
Power20W maximum power with cooling maximum. AC/DC "brick" supply with int'l AC input plug (100-240V, 50-60Hz). Alternate 6V input from user's source.
Remote TriggeringLVTTL input allows exposure to start within 25 microseconds of rising edge of trigger.
Camera Head SizeAluminum. 3.2" x 4.7" x 1.3" (8.1 x 11.9 x 3.3 cm). Weight: 1.4 lb. (0.65 kg)
Back Focal DistanceStandard: 0.32" (0.81cm). [optical]
Mounting1.5" x 2.5" bolt pattern, 6-32 thread. Optional C-mount (1" 32 tpi thread), Nikon F-mount, or 2" slip-fit adapters.
Op. System SupportWindows Linux

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