IMX455 based SBIG camera?

Discussion in 'Aluma AC Series CMOS' started by William Castleman, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. William Castleman

    William Castleman Cyanogen Customer

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    Is a SBIG camera based on the IMX455 sensor likely to be available any time soon? My STL-11000M is getting long in the tooth, and I want to upgrade my 24x36mm sensor-sized camera.
     
  2. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Private message sent. Stay tuned... when we announce something, we're pretty sure you will really like it.
     
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  3. Frederic Plourde

    Frederic Plourde Standard User

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    Any update on a IMX455 sensor based cameras?
     
  4. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Currently building prototype #2.
     
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  5. Frederic Plourde

    Frederic Plourde Standard User

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    May I know it form factor?
    ….are it outline dimensions based on a current model?

    We would wonder a new camera frame series fitting with the cut out space limitation required by RASA/Hyperstar lens telescopes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  6. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    The new design is cylindrical.
     
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  7. Frederic Plourde

    Frederic Plourde Standard User

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    Thank very much for the info. I will be seriously interested in this camera.

    Keep the astro community informed! You would get positive comments.

    regards
    Frederic
     
  8. Frederic Plourde

    Frederic Plourde Standard User

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    Hello Doug
    Any specs sheet or updates you can share us on the future IMX455 or other CMOS cameras?
    Regards
    Fred
     
  9. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Don't have final details yet. Things keep coming up that slow down the project. This week our office is in the middle of a disaster zone and has no power.

    We are making good progress though. We're working on the firmware for the (hopefully) final prototype.
     
  10. DJ Cash

    DJ Cash Standard User

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    Any new on this? I spoke with you last September on the phone about a sensor transplant but then i herd about this.
     
  11. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Prototype is on my desk undergoing testing. Getting close.
     
  12. DJ Cash

    DJ Cash Standard User

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    Ok, great! Thank you for the quick response.
     
  13. Kevin Morefield

    Kevin Morefield Cyanogen Customer

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    I heard a rumor that the IMX455 camera was announced at NEAF. Assuming that rumor is true, are there any spec sheets on it yet?
     
  14. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Though we haven't formally announced it yet, we did bring the new SBIG Aluma AC455 to NEAF.

    We still have to finish the firmware and run our standard suite of performance tests, so we're not ready to release the full specifications yet. I can give you some preliminary details.

    We are using a 10 Gigabit per second SPF+ fiber Ethernet interface for this camera. It provides a very fast interface with an extremely lightweight, flexible, and EMI-proof cable that eliminates the onerous cable length limitations of USB 3.0. Off-the-shelf adapters are available for Thunderbolt, RJ-45, and PCI-e interfaces.

    The camera reads out the 61 megapixel, 16-bit sensor in 0.25 seconds, and it takes 0.26 seconds to download to the PC (if your machine can keep up!). It is supported through our standard DL Imaging drivers, and ASCOM is supported.

    The optical interface is the same as our other Aluma AC models (and legacy STX / STXL models). The camera is directly compatible with our ultra-slim AFW series filter wheels. I recommend the AFW-10-50SQ model (the AFW-10-50R will also work but will vignette the corners slightly). The AFW wheel is controlled directly from the camera and also operates as its dark frame shutter.

    When will it be available? I don't want to promise yet, but we're getting close. As soon as we sign off for production we'll put it live on our web site.
     
  15. DJ Cash

    DJ Cash Standard User

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    That is fantastic information!! Thank you so much, I will most definitely be looking forward to this. Also I appreciate you being transparent with the status, I’m sure I am not the only eager individual.
     
  16. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Thanks for the update, Doug.

    I was hoping to get to attend the NEAF / NEAIC this year to meet you and Colin in person, but it didn't work out.

    Regarding the IMX455 sensor, are there any practical limitations to the type of scope this sensor is suitable for ? It seems that I read somewhere that there is a lower limit on pixel size below which the scopes won't be able to take advantage of the fine resolution.

    Mike
     
  17. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Sorry you weren't able to come. Colin was there, but I didn't make it myself - caught COVID just before the show! (I'm fine now.)

    The pixel size thing with CMOS cameras is a matter of some debate. The thing that makes oversampling more tolerable is the very low read noise of these sensors. That means spreading the photons out over more pixels doesn't degrade your SNR nearly as much.

    You can bin, but with these chips all binning is digital. With a read noise of about 2.1 electrons, 2x2 binning results in total noise of 4.2 electrons. That's still better than most CCDs. Even with 3x3 binning you're looking at 6.3 e-, which is still on a par with decent CCD cameras.

    My recommendation would be to image at full resolution, then calibrate, align and stack, and do your initial processing. The oversampling will make the interpolation for alignment just a little cleaner. Once you have a good raw image you can downsize to taste for reasonable sampling / image size.

    Based on our current (and upcoming) product line, I would in general make the following recommendations based on application:
    • Photometry:
      1. Aluma CCD47-10 (Best sensitivity, best dynamic range, big pixels)
      2. Aluma AC2020BSI (Excellent sensitivity)
      3. STC-428-P (Lower cost but sensitive and extremely stable, plus includes filter wheel supporting standard filters)
    • Space surveillance, supernova hunting, etc.:
      1. Aluma AC4040BSI (Highest sensitivity, 9 um pixels)
      2. Aluma AC4040FSI (Lower cost, lower dark current, less fixed pattern than BSI, and still has very good sensitivity)
      3. Aluma AC2020BSI (Lowest cost, smaller pixels, smaller field but extremely sensitive and low noise)
    • Pretty pictures:
      1. Aluma AC455 (Large field, very sensitive, clean images)
      2. STC-7 (Great value package with built-in filter wheel and 7 filters worth $700 included in the package. Great sensitivity and clean images.)
      3. Aluma CCD694 (Probably the most underrated camera in our product line! Very sensitive and very clean images. Chosen for the Dragonfly Array because of its incredible performance. If you're pushing to extreme sensitivity limits this camera blows the doors off its CMOS competitors.)
      4. Aluma CCD8300 (The venerable KAF-8300 is back! A bunch of sensors were left over from an OEM project, so we are making them available again.)
     
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  18. Kevin Morefield

    Kevin Morefield Cyanogen Customer

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    Any update on the SBIG Aluma AC455?

    I should add that my interest is specifically in whether the low level, random pattern banding and the saturated star banding can be resolved. The four other IMX455 cameras I’ve sampled all have these issues.
     
  19. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Production boards have been built, and we're working on finishing up the firmware.
     
  20. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    FYI, I haven't seen any evidence of random pattern banding in the prototype. I can't speak to saturated stars yet, but hope to get it on a telescope shortly.
     

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