The DBK 31AU03.AS unifies three important characteristics for astrophotography: high resolution, fast refresh rate and a low price. The camera ships with IC Capture.AS, a comprehensive software package with which you can capture lossless and uncompressed images sequences and write them to disk as AVI files, or as a series of singular bitmaps.
For visualization applications, it does not make sense to view the RAW image stream from the CCD chip. It must be interpolated, before it may be viewed or saved in common formats. IC Capture.AS perform color interpolation, thus reducing the load on the DBK 31AU03.AS's processor. Should, on the other hand, you prefer that the camera itself performs color interpolation, you can select the appropriate option in IC Capture.AS. This enables the transfer of data to reach the camera's maximum of 30 FPS. Finally, if you do not require color interpolation at all, you can turn it off completely and the image stream is written to disk in RAW format.
The DBK 31AU03.AS ships with the color Sony ICX204AK progressive scan CCD chip. With its 1/3 " format, the CCD chip produces a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. Even at very long exposure times - up to 60 minutes exposure are possible - noise is minimal. Thanks to this extremely high quality, the Sony ICX204AK CCD chip is also often used in other scientific, industrial and medical image processing applications.
The DBK 31AU03.AS does not compress the video stream it outputs - the video data that is captured by the CCD chip is outputted directly by the USB connector. Similarly, the camera does not have an IR cut filter, a color filter, nor an other kind of electronic filter. The camera is, therefore, ideally suited to capturing very true-to-life images of the night sky.
In order to transfer the vast amount of data created by the stream of uncompressed and lossless color images to the host PC, you need a very high speed bus. Hence, the DBK 31AU03.AS is fitted with a fast USB connector.
The DBK 31AU03.AS ships with the device driver IC WDM UVCCAM TIS and the camera control and image acquisition application IC Capture.AS. Both of these run on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit).
Software for Mac OS and Linux is available from third parties.
|Technical details are subject to change|
|Video formats @ FPS||1024 x 768, BY8 (RAW) @ 30, 15, 7.5, 3.75 FPS|
1024 x 768, UYVY @ 15, 7.5, 3.75 FPS
|Dynamic range||8 bit|
|IR cut filter||no|
|CCD specification||Sony ICX204AK [PDF]|
|Resolution||H: 1024 pixel, V: 768 pixel|
|Lens mount||C/CS mount|
|Supply voltage||4.5 VDC to 5.5 VDC (via USB cable)|
|Current consumption||approx. 500 mA at 5 VDC|
|Dimensions||H: 50.6 mm, W: 50.6 mm, L: 50 mm|
|Shutter (exposure time)||1/10,000 second to 60 minutes|
|Gain||0 dB to 36 dB|
|Max. temperature (operation)||-5 °C to 45 °C|
|Max. temperature (storage)||-20 °C to 60 °C|
|Max. humidity (operation)||20 % to 80 % non-condensing|
|Max. humidity (storage)||20 % to 95 % non-condensing|
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