Apogee Alta | CCD Camera for Astronomy

Apogee Alta Series

The Apogee Alta family has been a mainstay of high performance imaging for many years, offering a wide range of full frame and interline CCDs up to 16.8 Megapixel, ideally suited to both OEM and research markets. Cooling performance down to 50 °C below ambient offers low darkcurrent contribution, ensuring optimal signal to noise for long exposure applications such as astronomy or chemiluminescence detection. USB 2.0 interface offers the convenience of simple, robust connection to PC.

  • Programmable cooling to 50°C below ambient
  • Range of sensors up to 16.8 Megapixel
  • 16-Bit digitization
  • Subarray readout
  • USB 2.0 interface

Full Frame CCDs

Model Sensor type CCD Array Size Megapixels Pixel size (um) Diagonal (mm)
F42 FF, BI, UV E2V CCD42-40 2048 2048 4.2 13.5 39.1
F47 FF, BI, UV E2V CCD47-10 1024 1024 1.0 13 18.8
F16 FF, FI KAF-16801 4096 4096 16.8 9 52.1
F16M FF, FI KAF-16803 4096 4096 16.8 9 52.1
F9000 FF, FI KAF-09000 3056 3056 9.3 12 51.9
F8300 FF, FI KAF-8300 3326 2504 8.3 5.4 23.2
F32 FF, FI KAF-3200 2184 1472 3.2 6.8 18.1
F2 FF, FI KAF-1603 1536 1024 1.6 9 16.6
F6 FF, FI KAF-1001 1024 1024 1.0 24 34.8
F1 FF, FI KAF-0402 768 512 0.4 9 8.3
F260 FF, FI KAF-0261 512 512 0.3 20 14.5

Interline CCDs

Model Sensor type CCD Array Size Megapixels Pixel size (um) Diagonal (mm)
F16000 IL, FI KAI-16000 4872 3248 15.8 7.4 43.3
F4000 IL, FI KAI-4022 2048 2048 4.2 7.4 21.4
F2000 IL, FI KAI-2020 1600 1200 1.9 7.4 14.8

Product Overview

Ideal for OEM and astronomy applications, the Apogee Alta family has been a mainstream of high end imaging for many years, offering a wide range of full frame and interline CCDs. Cooling performance down to 50 0C below ambient ensures optimal signal to noise for long exposure applications. A USB 2.0 interface offers the convenience of simple, robust connection to PC.

Apogee Alta cameras are available with a wide variety of sensors, including: Back-illuminated sensors with very high quantum efficiency, some with sensitivity in the deep UV; Interline transfer sensors with fast electronic shuttering and inherent anti-blooming; front-illuminated CCDs with high sensitivity in the near-IR without etaloning and a range of resolution options up to 16.8 Megapixel.

Features and Benefits

Feature Benefit
High resolution sensors Sensors up to 16.8 Megapixel, offering large field of view at high resolution
Programmable TE cooling to 50 °C below ambient Ideal for detection of weak chemiluminescence or astronomy images, enabling long exposure acquisitions with optimized signal to noise ratio
High Dynamic Range Large pixel sensor variants offer extended intrascene quantification of weak and bright objects
16-bit digitization High photometric accuracy
In built shutter Shutter during readout and take dark reference frames - 25, 43mm or 63mm.
USB 2.0 Direct ‘Plug and Play’ connectivity
Programmable I/O port Synchronization with intricate experimental set-ups
Remote triggering LVTTL input allows exposure to start within 25 microseconds of rising edge of trigger
Focusing mode Faster readout option, ideal for focus optimization
Andor OEM optimization Compact and robust, Andor integration support, Andor quality enhancement, Andor post-sale support. Now also supported by 'Andor SDK3'

Sensor Options

The Apogee Alta camera series are available with a wide variety of CCD sensors for diverse applications: from 512 x 512 format to high resolution 16.8 megapixel format, with support for interline, and both front and back-illuminated full frame CCDs. Here we show the relative sizes of the sensor range available.

Front-Illuminated CCDs

Back-Illuminated CCDs

Interline Transfer CCDs

Quantum Efficiency

Back-illuminated CCDs are typically used for very low light applications due to their high quantum efficiency (QE). The UV enhanced versions of the back-illuminated CCDs have the highest QE in the UV. Back-illuminated CCDs have the highest QE in the near-IR, but are subject to etaloning in this wavelength regime (fringing caused by internal reflections). Kodak micro-lensed Blue Plus CCDs (ME suffix on the sensor part number) also have high peak QE, but much less overall QE than the back-illuminated CCDs. Interline transfer CCDs can typically achieve higher frame rates and offer electronic shuttering capability, thus do not necessarily require electromechanical shutters. Large pixel CCDs generally offer the highest dynamic range.

Full-Frame Front-Illuminated CCDs

Back-Illuminated CCDs

Interline Transfer CCDs


The following Accessories are available for Apogee Alta cameras:

XU-RECR/TRANS USB 2.0 - USB 2.0 fibre optic extender. Transmitter and Receiver, including 2 power supplies


Please click here to access the range of available filters


Please click here to access the range of available faceplate, lens mount and slip fit telescope adapters.

Mechanical Drawings

Below are detailed mechanical drawings for the standard Apogee Alta Series camera configurations. Contact an Andor sales representative to discuss custom mechanical interfacing.

D01 - Standard for Smaller CCDs

D02 - Standard for Midsize CCDs

D07 - Standard for Large CCDs

D10 - Standard for F43/F4320/F50 CCDs


Software and SDK Installer for 32-bit applications (includes drivers for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows)

Note: It is recommended that when updating the driver, that you update firmware as well if your version is different than the latest version listed here. See readme. Due to installer incompatibility issues v3 software must be manually uninstalled first, before upgrading to v5 software.

Please refer to our Apogee Camera Installation Guide for more details. Software Driver Documentation

ASCOM Camera and Filter Wheel Driver - Release 5.5.4

For more information on ASCOM please visit: ascom-standards.org

Apogee Camera Control Demo

Basic, unsupported acquisition application, recommended ONLY for use when testing and demonstrating Apogee cameras. Compatible with Apogee filter wheels.

*Please note you must install the Apogee SDK prior to running Apogee Camera Control Demo*


The Andor Learning Center hosts a wide range of case studies, technical articles and webinars to guide you through the many features of our portfolio.



The state of Pluto's atmosphere in 2012–2013
Study of three 2013 novae: V1830 Aql, V556 Ser and V809 Cep
The influence of the tube diameter on the properties of an atmospheric pressure He micro-plasma jet
Precursor flares in OJ 287
Early Time Optical Emission from Gamma-Ray Bursts
Comprehensive time series analysis of the transiting extrasolar planet WASP-33b
Spectroscopic and photometric study of the contact binary BO CVn
Period changes of the sample of eclipsing binaries with active chromospheres
The Subaru coronagraphic extreme AO (SCExAO) system: fast visible imager
A peculiar young eruptive star in the dark cloud Lynds 1340
Simulation of the precision limits of plastic scintillation detectors using optimal component selection
Evaluation of femtosecond laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for explosive residue detection
Optical Evolution of the Outburst of the Symbiotic Nova V4368 SGR= Wakuda's Peculiar Star
Optical Follow-up Observations of Transient Sources at Gunma Astronomical Observatory
IRC-10443: a multi-periodic SRa variable and the nature of long secondary periods in AGB stars
Tailored Ultrafast Pulses for Selective Energetic Residue Sampling