British Astronomical Association
Supporting amateur astronomers since 1890

Secondary menu

Main menu

Home Forums Spectroscopy
Terms of use

Imaging camera temperature ?

4 posts / 0 new
Last post
David Salmon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 04/03/2014 - 22:58
Imaging camera temperature ?

During the Alpy600 spectroscopy workshop last weekend François recommended setting a constant temperature for the imaging camera and to retain this to help with consistency across observations.

I'm guessing that typical summer night-time temperatures where I am in Oxfordshire are in the region of 10-15 C, and I have a camera that in principle can cool to around 40 degrees below ambient (I haven't tried that yet !), so I could choose an operating temperature in the range -25 to -20 C and run with that year-round, perhaps with the exception of a few summer nights when it is particularly warm !

In the absence of other information I might start with -20 C to avoid running the camera-cooler flat-out in summer, but I'd be interested to hear about others' experiences and what temperature/s they have chosen for their cameras and local conditions.

Regards,

David

Andy Wilson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 29/03/2014 - 16:05
Imaging camera temperature ?

Hi David,

I have a Starlight Xpress SXVR-H694 and I usually run it at -20C. During the Winter months I sometimes run it at -25C. Of course I have to make sure I have a full set of darks and flats to match whichever temperature I use.

I agree with what Francois said, it is important to run your camera at a temperature that it can easily maintain, so that you do not get too much temperature drift. I find the temperature drifts by a few 10ths of a degree, but no more during my exposures.

Best wishes,

Andy

Robin Leadbeater's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 1 min ago
Joined: 05/03/2014 - 00:50
Imaging camera temperature

Hi David,

Which camera do you have? Some sensors benefit from deep cooling eg the Kodak KAF CCDs. Others, like the Sony CCD, less so. The ATIK cameras I have used only cool ~25C below ambient so I run at -10C all year round which gives negligible thermal noise and saves me worrying about the risk of non matching darks/bias.   Incidentally if you do cool to very low temps, watch out for ghost residual images in following exposures. This can happen for example if you take a faint spectrum image after an overexposed calibration lamp image. I have never seen it myself at -10C but it was a problem than plagued a pro-am campaign I was involved in where they were using  KAF CCD cooled to a low temp.

Cheers

Robin

David Boyd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 05/03/2014 - 09:02
Imaging camera temperature

Hi David,

I also have an SX H694 and run this at -20C all year round. It seems to hold that temperature within a few tenths of a degree, even on warm summer nights.

Regards,

David