Can I take one-shot colour images when binning pixels?
Yes you can. However the colour information will be lost and the image will be monochrome.
My sensor has a vertical bright line! What is causing this?
Typically these are charge traps and add a few ADU counts to the pixel values of a column. They are caused by small defects in the CCD during manufacture or by comic ray strikes during the life time of the camera. Typically the Kodak sensors will have more of these than the Sony sensors but nether types are completely immune. To fix these during processing use dark frames or dithering and sigma combine during stacking.
Note the lines with pixel values higher that neighbouring lines are not the same as column defect. A column defect is a column with pixels values that are always saturated, i.e. 65000 adu counts. These can not be corrected by dark frames. If your camera develops a column defect send a uncalibrated dark frame to our support team.
Which sensor grades are used on your cameras?
The Sony sensors with the exception of engineering samples are not graded. All the Sony sensors we use are the highest and only grade commercially available. The KAI11002 used in the Atik 11000 comes in grade I and II types. The grading is done by Kodak running the sensors at high frame rate and high temperature. We have found no benefit in image quality in our cooled lower speed read out application from using the expensive grade I sensors over the grade II. So our standard Atik 11000 uses the class II sensor.
How much cooling should I use?
Cooling the CCD will decrease the the number of hot pixels and the thermal signal generally. If you are using standard dark frames these should be taken at the same temperature as the the imaging frames. So its worth imaging 5 or 10 degrees above the maximum the camera can achieve on a given night in order that you can get corresponding calibration frames. However if you are using dithering or defect mapping to calibrate your images it better to set the camera to maximum cooling by entering a set point below which the camera can achieve. This will give you the best quality of data.
Why are the colours strange when I de-Bayer an image?
To de-Bayer an image correctly the software needs to know which Bayer matrix the camera is using and what is the colour of the first pixel. This information is automatically generated within Atik software (Capture, ArtemisRGB and Dawn). There is however, no accepted way to pass this information to 3rd party software so manual entry of the matrix type and offset are required. The Matrix type is RGB (sometimes called RGGB or RGBG) and the offsets in x and y have to be found by deduction. Values can be 0 or 1. Two of the four possibilities will produce a strange magenta image while the other incorrect option will have red and blue swapped. Once found the correct settings should always work with that software. Colour cameras work best with an IR blocking filter. These will give images with stronger colour and more saturation.
Why is the image from my colour camera monochrome (black & white)?
Colour cameras have individual red green or blue filters over each pixel in a pattern called a Bayer matrix. This allows software to generate a colour image using a process known as ‘de-Bayering’. Note that this process only works with the image is taken with a cameras native resolution (1x1 binning). Any higher binning will combine pixels of different colours and so destroy the colour information.
Do you support OSX, Android, Linux, DOS?
Only Software and drivers for windows is maintained by Atik. Linux and MacOS are supported by 3rd part developers including x y and z. We do have experience of helping OEM customers develop for other platforms.
My images are coming out completely black, what could be the cause?
Ironically it may be the camera is receiving too much light. If the sensor is saturated while imaging during the day or while pointed at the moon the software may be displaying the image as all black. Its worth checking the pixel values to see if these are all zero i.e. really black, or 65000 which corresponds to a saturated image.
How do I contact technical support?
Where can I share images I have taken with my Atik Camera?
Lots of Forums and Magazines publish astronomical pictures. The Atik Camera forums
and Stargazers Lounge
are good places to start. If you have a website, send us your link and we'll gladly publish it in our dedicated webpage.