Apogee Ascent | OEM Camera for Gel Documentation

Apogee Ascent Series

The Apogee Ascent Camera Series supports a wide variety of interline transfer sensors with high quantum efficiency and low dark current, in an ‘OEM optimized’ compact, USB 2.0 platform. Low noise and high resolution formats are ideal for a variety of OEM applications such as gel documentation, quantitative PCR, gene sequencing and high content screening.

  • Compact OEM format (0.65 kg)
  • Range of popular interline sensors
  • Resolution up to 29 megapixels
  • USB 2.0 interface
  • Programmable cooling down to 35°C below ambient
  • 16-Bit digitization


Model Sensor type CCD Array Size Megapixels Pixel size (um) Diagonal (mm)
A29050 IL, FI, M KAI-29050 6576 4384 28.8 5.5 43.5
A16000 IL, FI, M KAI-16000 4872 3248 15.8 7.4 43.3
A814 IL, FI, M ICX814 3380 2704 9.1 3.69 15.97
A8050 IL, FI, M KAI-08050 3296 2472 8.1 5.5 22.7
A694 IL, FI, M ICX694 2750 2200 6.1 4.54 15.99
A4000 IL, FI, M, C KAI-04022 2048 2048 4.2 7.4 21.4
A4050 IL, FI, M KAI-04050 2336 1752 4.1 5.5 16.1
A2150 IL, FI, M KAI-02150 1920 1080 2.1 5.5 12.1
A2050 IL, FI, M KAI-02050 1600 1200 1.9 5.5 11
A2000 IL, FI, M KAI-2020 1600 1200 1.9 7.4 14.8
A1050 IL, FI, M, C KAI-01050 1024 1024 1.0 5.5 8
A285 IL, FI, M ICX285 1360 1024 1.4 6.45 11

Product Overview

The Apogee Ascent camera series supports a wide variety of interline transfer sensors with high quantum efficiency and low dark current, in an ‘OEM optimized’ compact, USB 2.0 platform. Low noise and high resolution formats are ideal for a variety of OEM applications such as gel documentation, quantitative PCR, gene sequencing and high content screening.

Apogee Ascent cameras are available with a wide variety of interline CCD sensors, with fast electronic shuttering and inherent anti-blooming. A range of popular resolution options up to 29 megapixel.

Driver Compatibility

The Apogee Ascent maintains compatibility with the Apogee SDK used for Alta and previous models. Applications written for Alta are compatible with Apogee Ascent.

Progressive Scan Mode

Interline transfer CCDs first shift charge from the photodiode in each pixel to the masked storage diode, and then march the charge through the storage diodes to the serial register. Acquisition of a new image in the photodiodes during readout of the previous image is called "progressive scan." Apogee Ascent cameras both support progressive scan with interline CCDs.

Image Sequences

Image sequences of up to 65,535 images can be acquired and transferred to camera / computer memory automatically. A delay may be programmed between images from 327 microseconds to 21.43 seconds. (This does not mean you can acquire images every 327 microseconds; it means you can program a delay of 327 microseconds between the end of a readout and the start of the next exposure.)

The Apogee Ascent platforms allow for three types of image sequencing:

  • Application-Driven Sequencing: This is the most common form of image sequencing. The application merely takes a specified number of successive images. This type of sequencing is suitable when the time between image acquisitions is not short and where slight differences in timing from image to image are not important.
  • Precision back to back sequencing: Apogee Ascent cameras incorporate a firmware controlled back to back image sequencing mode suitable for image-image intervals from 327uS to a maximum of 21.43 seconds in 327uS intervals. This provides for precision spacing of images in a sequence where windows applications cannot respond.
  • Fast back to back sequencing: This is a special form of precision back to back sequencing designed for a fixed <1 microsecond spacing between a pair of interline CCD exposures. The caveat with this mode is that the exposure times for each image must be greater than the readout time for the image. For example, if using the Apogee Ascent A2000 camera, the readout time for a full frame is less than 0.2 seconds so your exposure would need to be at least 0.2 seconds.

Features and Benefits

Feature Benefit
Compact and Lightweight Easy integration into OEM instrumetation
Andor OEM optimization Compact and robust, Andor integration support, Andor quality enhancement, Andor post-sale support. Now also supported by 'Andor SDK3'.
Range of popular interline sensors Important On-Semiconductor ('Kodak') sensors integrated. Ideal 'Sony CCD' replacement options, given recent Sony CCD end of manufacture announcement.
High resolution sensors Sensors up to 29 Megapixel, offering large field of view at high resolution.
Programmable TE cooling to 35 °C below ambient Reduction of darkcurrent contribution in longer exposure applications.
16-bit digitization High photometric accuracy.
Electronic shutter and progressive scan modes No mechanical shutter required and progressive scan mode for faster frame rate applications
USB 2.0 Direct ‘Plug and Play’ connectivity
Sub-array and flexible binning Range of windowing options for flexible resolution/FOV versus frame rate/data size.
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

Sensor Options

The Apogee Ascent camera series are available with a wide variety of interline CCD sensors for diverse applications, supporting all popular On-Semiconductor (‘Kodak’) sensors and a range of Sony sensors. Note, given the recent end of life announcement by Sony in relation to CCD manufacture, we recommend that OEM users focus on Ascent models incorporating interline sensors from On-Semiconductor, or on the Andor Zyla sCMOS cameras

Interline Transfer CCDs

Quantum Efficiency

Back-illuminated CCDs are typically used for very low light applications due to their high quantum efficiency (QE). Kodak micro-lensed Blue Plus CCDs (ME suffix on the part number) also have high peak QE, but much less overall QE than the back-illuminated CCDs. 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 (fringing caused by internal reflections). Interline transfer CCDs can take much shorter exposures and read out at higher frame rates because they do not require electromechanical shutters. Large pixel CCDs have the highest dynamic range, but generally are not suitable for microscopy.

A285 QE Curve

Interline QE (Typ RGB and Monochrome)

A16000 QE


The following Accessories are available for Apogee Ascent 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 Ascent Series camera configurations. Contact an Andor sales representative to discuss custom mechanical interfacing.


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

Linux driver support updates

The Random Factory maintains and supports all Apogee systems with Linux drivers. Contact Dave Mills at:

The Random Factory
3233 N Six Bar Spur
Tucson AZ 85745
tel: +1 520 822 5221
fax: +1 520 822 5223
email: rfactory@theriver.com
url: http://www.randomfactory.com/

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.