S.B.I.G. Model ST-237 and ST-V "All Sky" CCD Imaging Camera System
Illustration at Right: ST-237 CCD Camera with All Sky Fisheye Lens (327,447 bytes).
New Product Announcement:
ALL SKY versions of the ST-237A and STV cameras
Preliminary Information July 15, 2002
Many observatories use an all sky camera to monitor
changing sky and weather conditions. Until now, obtaining high quality
180 degree views of the sky required an expensive large format CCD and
a similarly expensive fish eye camera lens. Now, however, the ALL SKY
cameras make this possible for much less. The lens used in the ALL SKY
cameras is a high quality custom mounted 1.24mm F/2.8 fisheye.
In order to illuminate the TC-237 CCD with the full
field of the fish eye, the rear of the lens must be mounted very close
to the CCD. To place the lens at the correct distance, a special
housing has been designed that replaces the CCD chamber. The shutter or
filter wheel must be removed and a new face plate will be made to cover
the front of the camera head. The face plate will have provisions
for a cap that may be used to take dark frames and for protection when
the camera head is not in use.
Above: Figure 1 - The prototype "All Sky" version of the ST-237A camera head.
Note, a new face plate with screw-on lens cap will be added to close the head cavity (327,447 bytes).
Above: Figure 2 - A 120 second image taken with the ST-237 All Sky camera. North is up. Polaris is top center and the
Dipper is top right. The Milky Way is clearly visible despite the
bright lights of a shopping center to the south (215,246 bytes).
Above: Figure 3 - This chart was made using S.B. "TheSky" software.
The chart shows approximately the same field of view as the image above (183,028 bytes).
This is preliminary information. The All Sky versions of
the ST-237A and STV cameras are still in development although a
prototype of the ALL SKY ST-237 has been completed and tested. We do
not have a firm price established yet but we estimate that All SKY
versions of the cameras will be approximately $500 higher than the
standard cameras. We may offer a kit to modify an existing head
assembly for approximately $600 including the lens. The modifications
required are such that it is not trivial to switch between normal
imaging and All Sky imaging. Therefore, users who do not wish to
dedicate a camera to All Sky imaging should consider purchasing a spare
head assembly and modify it for the All Sky lens. Switching from All
Sky imaging and normal imaging could then be accomplished by simply
switching heads. We estimate that a spare head for an ST-237 or STV
will cost approximately the same as the All Sky kit.
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