Apogee Aspen | CCD Camera for Astronomy

Apogee Aspen Series

Apogee Aspen is the newest design innovation in the Apogee CCD range, ideal for demanding physical science and astronomy usage. Apogee Aspen increases cooling performance, improves stray light baffling, adds a network interface with a built-in web server, and sets a new standard in shutter longevity. The Aspen’s cooling performance down to 60 °C below ambient offers low darkcurrent contribution, ensuring optimal signal to noise for long exposure applications such as astronomy.

  • Programmable cooling down to 60 °C below ambient
  • USB 2.0 and Ethernet interface
  • Range of sensors up to 16.8 Megapixel
  • 16-Bit digitization
  • High longevity shutter (> 5 million cycles)
  • Subarray readout

Full Frame

Model Sensor type CCD Array Size Megapixels Pixel size (um) Diagonal (mm)
CG16M FF, FI KAF-16803 4096 4096 16.8 9 52.1
CG230 FF, BI E2VCCD230-42 2048 2048 4.2 15 43.4
CG42 FF, BI E2V CCD42-40 2048 2048 4.2 13.5 39.1
CG47 FF, BI E2V CCD47-10 1024 1024 1.0 13 18.8
CG6 FF, FI KAF-1001 1024 1024 1.0 24 34.8
CG9000 FF, FI KAF-9000 3056 3056 9.3 12 51.9

Product Overview

Ideally suited to challenging astronomy and physical science imaging applications, the Apogee Aspen family offers a range of popular full frame and interline CCD sensors, within a camera platform that is designed to push performance. Thermoelectric cooling down to 60 0C below ambient ensures optimal sensitivity for long exposure applications. The simple convenience of a USB 2.0 interface is accompanied by an Ethernet network interface with a built-in web server. The Apogee Aspen also utilizes a new extremely high reliability shutter, specified for > 5 million shutter cycles.

Apogee Aspen 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; Front-illuminated CCDs with high sensitivity in the near-IR without etaloning and a range of resolution options up to 16.8 Megapixel (CG16M model).

Features and Benefits

Feature Benefit
High resolution sensors Sensors up to 16.8 Megapixel, offering large field of view at high resolution
Ethernet interface with built-in web server Remote access and control over the Internet, via standard web browser
USB 2.0 interface Direct ‘Plug and Play’ simplicity of USB 2.0 or Ethernet with built-in web server
High Dynamic Range Large pixel sensor variants offer extended intrascene quantification of weak and bright objects
16-bit digitization High photometric accuracy
High longevity shutter Shutter during readout and take dark reference frames - 35 or 63mm. Specified for > 5 million cycles
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

Sensor Options

The Apogee Aspen camera series are available with a wide variety of CCD sensors for diverse applications: from 1024 x 1024 format to high resolution 16.8 megapixel format and both front and back-illuminated full frame CCDs. Here we show the relative sizes of the sensor range available.

Full Frame 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. 

Full-Frame Front-Illuminated CCDs

Back-Illuminated CCDs


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

G01 - Standard for Small CCDs

G07 - Standard for Large CCDs

G09 - Highest Cooling Option


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.

*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.