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Kepler Cooled sCMOS Cameras Gsense400 front illuminated grade 1 (non-microlensed) [FLI-KL400-F1G1]

FLI-KL400-F1G1
$12,379.85 USD
Availability: usually ships within 10-14 days
Flight Lakes Instrumentation: The KL400's Low Dynamic Range (LDR) mode reads the image once and digitizes it to 12-bits. The user has eight gains to select from in LDR mode. Adjusting the gain affects full well size, dark current growth, and linearity.
The High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode reads the pixels twice, digitizing with different gains. (Unlike CCDs that only read the charge from each pixel once, CMOS sensors can measure the charge multiple times.) The two images are merged to create a 16 bit image with the linearity of a single image, thus allowing an HDR image to show detail in both low-count and high-count areas of an image. Because of the additional read time, the maximum HDR frame rate is half that of the LDR mode.
The Kepler camera also features a Low Dark Current (LDC) options for both LDR and HDR. When used, the LDC option minimizes dark current at the expense of reduced full well capacity. For short exposures where dark current growth is not a problem, LDC is not generally used. Standard modes (not LDC) provide the highest full well capacity and widest dynamic range. On the other hand LDC mode is very useful for imaging dim objects that require very long exposures where dark current growth can be significant.
The following may be useful in making the decision on which mode is most appropriate:
Choose LDR mode for required frame rate greater than 24 FPS (exposures <42 ms).
Choose HDR mode for a dynamic range greater than 0 – 4095 counts
Choose LDC when your exposures are sufficiently long that dark current growth uses a significant percentage of full well capacity. (Also cool sensor to lowest possible operating temp.)
Do not choose LDC for short exposures.
 
A Signal to Noise Ratio Comparison: PL16803 CCD vs. KL4040 sCMOS
The ProLine PL16803 has been the de facto standard for astrophotography since its release in 2006, and the Kepler KL4040 continues the tradition of excellence. Both cameras use a 4k x 4k sensor with 9 micron pixels. The difference is the ProLine uses a traditional CCD while the Kepler uses a Scientific CMOS sensor.
The table below is a comparison of the ProLine PL16803 and the Kepler KL4040 cameras, using a low flux value of 1 photon/pixel/second.
KAF-16803 vs GSense4040
Sensor    KAF-16803 CCD    GS4040 sCMOS
Average QE 400-700 nm    50.7%    69.8%
Dark Current    0.001 eps    0.15 eps
Read Noise    10 e-    3.7 e-
Throughput    1 MHz    800 MHz
Full Well Capacity    100000 e-    70000 e-
Dynamic Range    10000 : 1    18900 : 1
SNR 900 sec    19.2    22.5
SNR 5 x 180 sec    14.7    21.8
SNR 10 x 90 sec    11.9    20.9
 
Summary: A Paradigm Shift
It is no surprise that the CCD’s best performance is with a single long exposure. What may be surprising is the Kepler KL4040 has a better signal-to-noise ratio than the PL16803 even with a single long exposure. The signal-to-noise ratio of the KL4040 is better than the PL16803 even when using short exposures that are stacked!
The benefit of taking multiple short exposures is the option to discard a bad exposure ruined by satellite trails, tracking errors, or bad seeing (etc.). Incredible low-noise images are now possible with a single long exposure or many stacked short exposures. The KL4040’s superior performance allows it to be used for a wide range of applications and requirements.

About Kepler Cooled sCMOS Cameras Gsense400 front illuminated grade 1 (non-microlensed) [FLI-KL400-F1G1]

Flight Lakes Instrumentation: The KL400's Low Dynamic Range (LDR) mode reads the image once and digitizes it to 12-bits. The user has eight gains to select from in LDR mode. Adjusting the gain affects full well size, dark current growth, and linearity.

The High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode reads the pixels twice, digitizing with different gains. (Unlike CCDs that only read the charge from each pixel once, CMOS sensors can measure the charge multiple times.) The two images are merged to create a 16 bit image with the linearity of a single image, thus allowing an HDR image to show detail in both low-count and high-count areas of an image. Because of the additional read time, the maximum HDR frame rate is half that of the LDR mode.

The Kepler camera also features a Low Dark Current (LDC) options for both LDR and HDR. When used, the LDC option minimizes dark current at the expense of reduced full well capacity. For short exposures where dark current growth is not a problem, LDC is not generally used. Standard modes (not LDC) provide the highest full well capacity and widest dynamic range. On the other hand LDC mode is very useful for imaging dim objects that require very long exposures where dark current growth can be significant.

The following may be useful in making the decision on which mode is most appropriate:

Choose LDR mode for required frame rate greater than 24 FPS (exposures <42 ms).

Choose HDR mode for a dynamic range greater than 0 – 4095 counts

Choose LDC when your exposures are sufficiently long that dark current growth uses a significant percentage of full well capacity. (Also cool sensor to lowest possible operating temp.)

Do not choose LDC for short exposures.

 
A Signal to Noise Ratio Comparison: PL16803 CCD vs. KL4040 sCMOS
The ProLine PL16803 has been the de facto standard for astrophotography since its release in 2006, and the Kepler KL4040 continues the tradition of excellence. Both cameras use a 4k x 4k sensor with 9 micron pixels. The difference is the ProLine uses a traditional CCD while the Kepler uses a Scientific CMOS sensor.

The table below is a comparison of the ProLine PL16803 and the Kepler KL4040 cameras, using a low flux value of 1 photon/pixel/second.

KAF-16803 vs GSense4040
Sensor    KAF-16803 CCD    GS4040 sCMOS
Average QE 400-700 nm    50.7%    69.8%
Dark Current    0.001 eps    0.15 eps
Read Noise    10 e-    3.7 e-
Throughput    1 MHz    800 MHz
Full Well Capacity    100000 e-    70000 e-
Dynamic Range    10000 : 1    18900 : 1
SNR 900 sec    19.2    22.5
SNR 5 x 180 sec    14.7    21.8
SNR 10 x 90 sec    11.9    20.9
 

Summary: A Paradigm Shift
It is no surprise that the CCD’s best performance is with a single long exposure. What may be surprising is the Kepler KL4040 has a better signal-to-noise ratio than the PL16803 even with a single long exposure. The signal-to-noise ratio of the KL4040 is better than the PL16803 even when using short exposures that are stacked!

The benefit of taking multiple short exposures is the option to discard a bad exposure ruined by satellite trails, tracking errors, or bad seeing (etc.). Incredible low-noise images are now possible with a single long exposure or many stacked short exposures. The KL4040’s superior performance allows it to be used for a wide range of applications and requirements.

KL400 FI Sensor Specs
Sensor: GPixel GSense400
Pixels: 2048 x 2048
Pixel Size: 11 μm
Full Well Capacity: 120000 e-
Dynamic Range: 96 dB HDR
Sensor Diagonal: 31.9
Video Size (inch): 2.0
Color Options: Monochrome
Sensor Type: Front Illuminated
Shutter Type: Rolling
Sensor Grades: Grade 1
KL400 FI Performance
Camera Spec Sheet: PDF
Status: In Production
Digitization Speed: 24 fps HDR
Typical System Noise: 1.5 e- HDR
Typical Maximum Cooling: 45ºC Below Ambient
Typical Dark Current: <0.15 e-/pixel/sec @ -20ºC
Typical Non linearity: <1%
Lens Mounts: Optional Nikon F-Mount or Canon EOS mount
Available Shutters: Optional 45 mm
Housing Dimensions: 4.0 x 4.0 x 4.17 (101.6 x 101.6 x 105.9)
Focal Plane to Faceplate: 15.53 mm (optical; no cover slip)
Weight: 3.0 lbs.
Interface: USB 3.0
All Kepler Cameras
Temperature Stability: 0.1ºC
Remote Triggering: Standard
Shutter MTBF: 1,000,000
Power: 12V (100-240V AC to 12V DC power supply included). With TEC off: <1A. TEC at 100%: 4.4A. (Optional Electromechanical Shutter open: 4A pulse for 100msec. Shutter held open, add 0.22A.)
Environment: -10ºC to +30ºC | 10% - 90% Relative Humidity


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