We are pleased to announce a new variant of Archon, called Archon AC. This version of our CCD controller is taller than the standard chassis, but integrates the AC/DC and DC/DC converters to simplify cabling and reduce costs. It also includes a water block for cooling, and the fan can be disabled in software for dedicated liquid-cooled applications. The new options have been added to the Archon manual and price list. The standard AD module has also been updated to Rev K, and demonstrates crosstalk levels better than 1 in 107. The Archon Backplane has been updated to Rev F, and offers better jitter performance when synchronizing multiple systems, along with system fan tachometer reporting. Learn more here.
STA has moved to 1241 Puerta Del Sol in San Clemente, CA, 92673. Please direct shipments and correspondence to this new address.
There have been a variety of improvements and additions to Archon since its announcement. These include the XVBias module and XV power supply for +/-100V biases, LVDS and HS modules for high speed clocking, and enhanced LVXBias, HVXBias, and HeaterX modules. The Rev E backplanes support hot pluggable daisy chained multi-system synchronization, and all modules with digital I/O lines now offer embedded 16-bit CPUs that can be programmed on the fly for simple digital I/O tasks such as reading an I2C temperature sensor or RS232 vacuum gauge. Update your GUI and firmware to take advantage of these new features. We’ve also recently developed a water-cooled option for Archon (as shown). Read more about Archon here or contact us.
The Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) is being developed by a team of astronomers at the University of Hawaii and is funded by NASA. ATLAS is an asteroid impact early warning system consisting of two telescopes that will scan the whole sky several times every night looking for moving objects. Each telescope has a 10k x 10k STA1600 CCD and an Archon controller. When the project’s Haleakala and Mauna Loa sites are complete by early 2016, ATLAS can provide one day’s warning for a 30-kiloton “town killer,” a week for a 5-megaton “city killer,” and three weeks for a 100-megaton “county killer” asteroid. More information on ATLAS is available here.
The second of 3 STA cameras has been installed by NIAOT for the AST3 (Antarctic Survey Telescope) project. Each camera consists of a backside illuminated STA1600FT CCD (10k x 5k frame transfer, 9 μm pixel), a compact dewar with TEC cooling, and an STA Reflex camera controller. The NAIOT announcement can be read here.
With the potential to save lives, Lockheed Martin’s Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) will provide earlier alerts of developing tornados and severe storms by monitoring lightning on a continental scale. The 500 frame per second CCD imager with variable pixel size (STA3900A) at the heart of the GLM was developed by Semiconductor Technology Associates, Inc. The variable pixel size provides a near uniform mapping of the curved surface of the earth. This, in conjunction with the 500 frame per second readout rate and excellent system optical throughput, establishes 70-90% flash detection day and night. The GLM will fly on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GOES-R Series environmental satellites beginning in 2016. The Lockheed Martin press release can be read here.
STA is excited to announce the availability of our next-generation CCD controller, Archon. The system offers a simple fiber or copper gigabit ethernet interface. Archon features a modular, 12 slot design that can digitize up to 16 CCD outputs at pixel rates up to a few MHz. Digital CDS processing enables a typical SNR of 108 dB at 100 kHz, and 98 dB at 1 MHz, with optional concurrent raw 100 MHz “oscilloscope” data. An example cross-platform GUI is provided with source code.
Full details are on the product page here.
STA is pleased to announce the STA4150, a 4k x 4k scientific CCD with 15 μm pixels and four low noise outputs. See more details here.
The first of 3 STA cameras has been accepted and installed by NIAOT for the AST3 (Antarctic Survey Telescope) project. Each camera consists of a backside illuminated STA1600FT CCD (10k x 5k frame transfer, 9 μm pixel), a compact dewar with TEC cooling, and an STA Reflex camera controller. The NAIOT announcement can be read here.
STA delivered the URAT camera to Norbert Zacharias at the USNO in Washington, D.C. in August of 2011. The URAT camera is a focal plane of four 10k x 10k STA1600 CCDs with supporting guider CCDs, a liquid nitrogen cooled dewar, and the supporting camera controllers. You can see images of the project on the URAT website