Since announcing development of our first CMOS camera in May, we’ve been busy getting things ready for release. We’ve locked down our case design, boosted our cooling and now have our full set of provisional specifications. So, without further ado, let us introduce you to the Atik Horizon.
- Sensor: CMOS 4/3 inch
- Horizontal resolution: 4644 pixels
- Vertical resolution: 3506 pixels
- Pixel size: 3.8µm x 3.8µm
- Imaging Area: 17.64 x 13.32mm
- ADC: 12 bit
- Variable Gain: -9dB to +30dB
- Cooling: -40°C below ambient
- Backfocus: 13mm ± 0.5mm
- Front Thread: M42x0.75
- PC interface: USB2 or USB3
- Max exposure: Unlimited
- Min exposure: 18uS
- Read Noise: 0.6e− at +30dB gain
- Memory: 256 mb DDR III
- Case size: Length 130mm, Diameter 74mm
- Weight: approximately 525g
- Available as mono or colour
- Filters: 36mm filters recommended, but can be used with 1.25” down to F5 with the EFW2
- Software: Comes with Artemis Capture, Infinity and a full ASCOM Driver
The new case size is compatible with HyperStar systems from 8″ and above, while giving space for a high quality circuit board capable of just 0.6e− read noise. We’re very excited that this is the first time read noise has dropped below 1e− in an amateur astrophotography camera. It’s fantastic news for people looking to take large numbers of shorter exposures, particularly as we’re building in native support for the Atik Horizon into our Infinity live stacking software.
The new case also allows for an improved cooling delta of -40°C below ambient, at just a minimal increase on the size of our 4-Series camera. This all adds up to extremely low noise levels to help you take crisp, detailed images of the night sky.
The chamber is sealed using techniques we’ve developed while working within demanding scientific applications. Our sealing creates a condensation free environment, and means your desiccant lasts much longer between recharges than other sealing methods. We’re using the same fused quartz cover glass as in our Atik 383L+ camera to prevent condensation forming on the outside of the glass when the camera’s cooled. This added level of performance and reliability means you can spend less time adjusting your equipment, and more time imaging.
Image Buffering and Advanced Software Control
We’ve also included a built-in 256mb DDR III image buffer to prevent frame loss for a seamless imaging experience. It allows you to take advantage of USB3-like speeds over a USB2 connection, while keeping all the benefits of flexibility, cable length and low cost that USB2 brings. It also protects you from the artifacts and dropped frames that can arise in your images when using these fast read-out sensors over USB2 without a buffer, to keep you imaging without interruption.
The camera is fully integrated in our Artemis Capture software. It also comes with a full ASCOM driver to ensure compatibility with your favourite third party software. As mentioned, we’re also integrating CMOS control into our Infinity Software so you can also use the camera in a near-real time environment.
We expect the camera to have a recommended retail price of 1800€ / $1659 for the monochrome version and 1460€ / $1324 for the colour.
Last week we put out a call for BETA testers for the new Atik Horizon. With such an overwhelming response, we are currently not accepting any new applications for BETA Testers. The initial production run is extremely limited, and we’ve had a huge number of applicants already. If you’ve applied, we like to say a huge thank you for your interest and will get back to you about next steps in due course.
We anticipate the full release to follow in early October. So if you’re not taking part in our BETA test, there’s still not too long to wait to get your hands on the newest addition to the Atik range.