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Fax: (585) 624­-9879

Ideal for:

Orbital Debris Detection

Occultations

Solar Astronomy

TEM

Photometry

Near Earth Object (NEO)

Super Resolution Microscopy

Wavefront Sensing

Speckle Imaging

Forensic Science

Photocell Inspection


Associated Links

Kepler User's Guide

Associated Brochures

Kepler Overview

Color Filter Wheel Chart

High Speed Filter Wheels


Kepler KL400 Fluoro Image

KL400 FI Fluorescence Image

Fluoro Image

Kepler Window Coatings

Kepler Window Coatings

F116 and uncoated UV Fused Silica


KL400 BI Images

Tivoli Astrofarm, Namibia

Courtesy of Gerald Rhemann

NGC3372 Narrowband

Eta Carina Nebula, NGC3372

Kepler KL400 BI

H-a OIII SII 30 seconds each

KL400 Eta Carina

Eta Carina Nebula, NGC3372

Kepler KL400 BI

R,G,B 380 seconds each

KL400 Eta Carina

NGC6726 and NGC6727

Kepler KL400 BI

L 24 min; RGB 15 min each

KL400 M8

M8 - Kepler KL400 BI

27.5 minutes total

NGC3324 NGC3293

NGC3324 NGC3293 - Kepler KL400 BI

90 minutes total

Kepler Options

Liquid Cooling

Shutter

QSFP Fiber Interface

UV Fused Silica Window

Anti-Dew Technology


KAF-16803 vs. KL4040

CCD230-42 vs. KL400

CCD47-10 DD vs. KL400


KL400 BI Images

Tivoli Astrofarm, Namibia

Courtesy of Wolfgang Promper

Except as Noted Below

KL400 on telescope

KL400 Eta Carina

Eta Carina Nebula, NGC3372

Kepler KL400 BI

R,G,B 8 x 30 seconds each

KL400 NGC5128

NGC5128 (Gerald Rhemann)

Kepler KL400 BI

L 150 min, RGB 20 min each

KL400 M8

M8 - Kepler KL400 BI

12.5 minutes total

KL400 M8 60 sec

M8 - Kepler KL400 BI

1 minute luminance

KL400 IC2944

IC2944

Kepler KL400 BI

12 min per channel LRGB, 30 sec subs


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"But one thing became clear to us during the test [of the KL400] at this stay -the course is set for the future. In less than an hour one can record depths which can only be achieved with a CCD over many hours." --Gerald Rhemann

 

Kepler Cooled sCMOS Cameras


The Kepler Series is a giant step forward in throughput, providing faster digitization, higher speed interfaces, and up to 35 channel readout. Sensorscurrently supported include front and back illuminated sCMOS. Future developments will include interline transfer CCDs and EMCCDs.

  1. USB3.0 (3 Gbps)
  2. Optional QSFP (8 Gbps)
  3. Broadband AR Coated Window - (Transmissivity Curves)
  4. Air Cooling or Optional Liquid Cooling
  5. Deep Cooling (up to 45�C below ambient)
  6. Optional Anti-Dew Technology (ADT)
  7. LDR and HDR modes
  8. Small Footprint (4 x 4 x 4.2 in.)
  9. Reaches operating temperatures in 10 minutes
  10. Support for up to 35 channels
  11. View Kepler Overview pdf

For details regarding Kepler Operational Modes and a Signal to Noise Comparison of CCDs versus CMOS, please see the bottom of this page.

Need Extremely Accurate Time Logging? See the Kepler Image Time Stamp.

    Images

    Front Illuminated

    Back Illuminated

    Kepler Drawings

  • Sensors
{@model}
{@model} Sensor Specs
Sensor: {sensor/@sensor_manufacturer} {sensor/@model}
Pixels: {sensor/@array_size}
Pixel Size: {sensor/@pixel_size}
Full Well Capacity: {sensor/@linear_full_well}
Dynamic Range: {sensor/@dyn_range}
Sensor Diagonal: {sensor/@sensor_diagonal}
Video Size (inch): {sensor/@video_size}
Color Options: {sensor/@color_monochrome}
Sensor Type: {sensor/@sensor_type}
Shutter Type: {sensor/@shutter_type}
Sensor Grades: {sensor/@grades_available}
{@model} Performance
Camera Spec Sheet: PDF
Digitization Speed: {@frame_rate}
Typical System Noise: {@typical_system_noise}
Typical Maximum Cooling: {@typical_minimum_cooling}
Typical Dark Current: {sensor/@typical_dark_current}
Typical Non linearity: {@nonlinearity}
Lens Mounts: {@mount}
Available Shutters: {@available_shutters}
Housing Dimensions: {@dimensions}
Focal Plane to Faceplate: {@focal_plane_to_faceplate}
Weight: {@weight}
Interface: {@interface}
All Kepler Cameras
Temperature Stability: {@temperature_stability}
Remote Triggering: {@remote_triggering}
Shutter MTBF: {@shutter_mtfb}
Power: {@power}
Environment: {@operating_environment}
{@note}
   
Absolute Quantum Efficiency
QE Curve

{@model}
{@model} Sensor Specs
Sensor: {sensor/@sensor_manufacturer} {sensor/@model}
Pixels: {sensor/@array_size}
Pixel Size: {sensor/@pixel_size}
Full Well Capacity: {sensor/@linear_full_well}
Dynamic Range: {sensor/@dyn_range}
Sensor Diagonal: {sensor/@sensor_diagonal}
Video Size (inch): {sensor/@video_size}
Color Options: {sensor/@color_monochrome}
CCD Type: {sensor/@sensor_type}
Shutter Type: {sensor/@shutter_type}
CCD Grades: {sensor/@grades_available}
{@model} Performance
Camera Spec Sheet: PDF
Frame Rate: {@frame_rate}
Typical System Noise: {@typical_system_noise}
Typical Maximum Cooling: {@typical_minimum_cooling}
Typical Dark Current: {sensor/@typical_dark_current}
Non linearity: {@nonlinearity}
Lens Mounts: {@mount}
Available Shutters: {@available_shutters}
Housing Dimensions: {@dimensions}
Focal Plane to Faceplate: {@focal_plane_to_faceplate}
Weight: {@weight}
Interface: {@interface}
All Kepler Cameras
Temperature Stability: {@temperature_stability}
Remote Triggering: {@remote_triggering}
Shutter MTBF: {@shutter_mtfb}
Power: {@power}
Environment: {@operating_environment}
{@note}
   
Absolute Quantum Efficiency
QE Curve

Kepler 45 Drawing

Kepler 45mm Shutter with Dovetail

PDF (119k)

Kepler NS T-thread

Kepler with no shutter and T-mount

PDF (105k)

Kepler 45mm CenterLine Dovetail

Kepler 45 with CenterLine Dovetail

PDF (112k)

Kepler 65 with Dovetail

Kepler 65 with Dovetail

PDF (115k)

Kepler 65 with Flat Flange

Kepler 65 with Flat Flange

PDF (110k)

Kepler 65 CenterLine Flange

Kepler 65 with CenterLine Flange

PDF (113k)

Kepler KL4040 NS

Kepler KL4040 with no shutter

PDF (105k)

Poster of Sensor Sizes Sensor Attributes Chart
Sensor Poster Sensor Chart

Kepler Operational Modes

Kepler�s Low Dynamic Range (LDR) mode reads the image once and digitizes it to 12-bits. The user has eight gains to select from in LDR mode. Adjusting the gain affects full well size, dark current growth, and linearity.

The High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode reads the pixels twice, digitizing through different amplifiers with different gains. (Unlike CCDs that only read the charge from each pixel once, CMOS sensors can measure the charge multiple times.) The two images are merged to create a 16 bit image with the linearity of a single image, thus allowing an HDR image to show detail in both low-count and high-count areas of an image. Because of the additional read time, the maximum HDR frame rate is half that of the LDR mode.

The Kepler camera also features a Low Dark Current (LDC) options for both LDR and HDR. When used, the LDC option minimizes dark current at the expense of reduced full well capacity. For short exposures where dark current growth is not a problem, LDC is not generally used. Standard modes (not LDC) provide the highest full well capacity and widest dynamic range. On the other hand LDC mode is very useful for imaging dim objects that require very long exposures where dark current growth can be significant.

The following may be useful in making the decision on which mode is most appropriate:

Choose LDR mode for required frame rate greater than 24 FPS (exposures <42 ms).

Choose HDR mode for a dynamic range greater than 0 � 4095 counts

Choose LDC when your exposures are sufficiently long that dark current growth uses a significant percentage of full well capacity. (Also cool sensor to lowest possible operating temp.)

Do not choose LDC for short exposures.

 

A Signal to Noise Ratio Comparison: PL16803 CCD vs. KL4040 sCMOS

The ProLine PL16803 has been the de facto standard for astrophotography since its release in 2006, and the Kepler KL4040 continues the tradition of excellence. Both cameras use a 4k x 4k sensor with 9 micron pixels. The difference is the ProLine uses a traditional CCD while the Kepler uses a Scientific CMOS sensor.

The table below is a comparison of the ProLine PL16803 and the Kepler KL4040 cameras, using a low flux value of 1 photon/pixel/second.

KAF-16803 vs GSense4040
Sensor KAF-16803 CCD GS4040 sCMOS
Average QE 400-700 nm 50.7% 69.8%
Dark Current 0.001 eps 0.15 eps
Read Noise 10 e- 3.7 e-
Throughput 1 MHz 800 MHz
Full Well Capacity 100000 e- 70000 e-
Dynamic Range 10000 : 1 18900 : 1
SNR 900 sec 19.2 22.5
SNR 5 x 180 sec 14.7 21.8
SNR 10 x 90 sec 11.9 20.9

 

Summary: A Paradigm Shift

It is no surprise that the CCD�s best performance is with a single long exposure. What may be surprising is the Kepler KL4040 has a better signal-to-noise ratio than the PL16803 even with a single long exposure. The signal-to-noise ratio of the KL4040 is better than the PL16803 even when using short exposures that are stacked!

The benefit of taking multiple short exposures is the option to discard a bad exposure ruined by satellite trails, tracking errors, or bad seeing (etc.). Incredible low-noise images are now possible with a single long exposure or many stacked short exposures. The KL4040�s superior performance allows it to be used for a wide range of applications and requirements.

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