Andor Launches Very Large Area Astronomy CCD

iKon-XL with -100 °C Peltier Cooling and 18-bit Dynamic Range

Belfast, Northern Ireland, 29 September, 2015

Andor Technology (Andor), an Oxford Instruments company and world leader in scientific imaging and spectroscopy solutions, today announced the launch of the new iKon-XL Very Large Area CCD camera platform, which uniquely uses patent-pending ‘ColdSpace™’ technology to thermoelectrically cool a 16.8 Megapixel very large area back-illuminated CCD sensor (e2v) down to -100 °C, circumventing the need for liquid nitrogen or cryo coolers. The iKon-XL is ideal for challenging astronomy applications such as exoplanet discovery, large sky surveys, photometry, astro-spectroscopy and debris tracking.

Furthermore, Andor’s new and innovative ‘Extended Dynamic Range’ technology, introduced in iKon-XL, is a novel method to achieve lowest noise and maximum well depth within one scan and is complemented by up to 18-bit digitization capability. Flexible connectivity is standard through either USB 3.0 or a long distance direct fiber-optic interface. Images can be read out at a range of readout speeds via either single or quad ports, the latter benefiting greatly from the particular design attention given to electronic stability and image quadrant balancing.

This new ultrasensitive camera platform is initially available with CCD231-84 and CCD230-80 sensor variants from e2v (Chelmsford, UK) delivering up to 95% QE, with deep depletion options for enhanced NIR sensitivity, down to 2 e- read noise and up to 350,000 e- pixel well depth. Deep TE cooling to -100°C facilitates minimization of darkcurrent below the zodiacal photon background, enabling use of extremely long exposure times for weak signal detection.

Dr Colin Coates, Andor’s Imaging Product Manager, said; “iKon-XL is a performance leading, highly robust and ‘hassle-free’ detector solution, designed to operate with low maintenance and exceptional longevity in remote observing sites around the globe. The outstanding quality and technical innovations that define this unique product lend themselves to an ideal ‘off-the-shelf’ solution for even the most demanding observing requirements.”

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