Oculus PRO All-Sky Camera

The Oculus PRO All-Sky Camera from Starlight Xpress is the latest iteration of the Oculus All-Sky Camera and is designed to provide high quality sky images for weather and meteor observations.  The core of this camera is based on the super-sensitive 1.4 megapixel ‘Ultrastar PRO’, it comes with the 2.55mm FL f1.2 150 degree ‘Fish-Eye’ lens.

Oculus PRO All-Sky CameraThe supplied software allows you to capture a series of exposures and add them together to create a dramatic AVI movie of the night sky. This is the perfect camera for imaging meteor showers, viewing the weather conditions at a remote observatory, or imaging the night sky in a spectacular way.

The new PRO version has built in dew detection which only turns the internal dew heater on when necessary so the camera itself is not heated when the humidity is low, increasing your signal to noise. The Air-Assist fan, in conjunction with the internal dew heaters, ensures the dome remains clear.

The Oculus PRO All-Sky Camera is designed to be permanently or semi-permanently mounted outdoors and comes with a 3″ clear polycarbonate dome and aluminum housing that is weather resistant against rain and snow. For the best images, the unit should be placed as high has possible to avoid ground-based light flares from houses or passing cars.

The Oculus dome is a quality, highly polished polycarbonate 3” dome with the lens positioned at the optimum point in the dome to ensure there is no distortion in the star field. The Oculus comes with a right-angle aluminum tripod bracket to secure it to the side of your dome or building. The bracket has the standard 1⁄4” tripod thread on the base but can also be easily drilled and adapted for other mounting options.

The included bracket has pre-drilled holes for strapping it to poles and masts, plus a standard 1/4″-20 tripod socket to put it on most photo/video/field tripods if you want to bring it with you off the grid and capture panoramic starscapes.

The camera is designed to be connected to a computer running Windows and gets its power from the computer’s USB port. The heater, designed to keep dew from condensing on the dome and interfering with the shot, can be powered by any 2.1mm DC power adapter putting out between 6 and 15V and delivering at least 1A. Choosing different outputs will change the amount of heat, allowing you to control how hot it gets and minimize dark signal interference.

The Oculus PRO All-Sky Camera specifications include:

– CCD type: ICX825AL Sony ExView II interline CCD with ultra-low dark current and vertical anti-blooming.

-CCD Full resolution pixel data: Pixel size: 6.45uM x 6.45uM, Image format: 1392 x 1040 pixels

-CCD Image area: 8.98mm (Horizontal) x 6.71mm (Vertical).

-CCD quality: Grade 1

-Spectral Response: QE max at 580nM (~75%), 50% at 400nM and 770nM.

-Readout Noise: Typically ONLY 3.5 electrons.

-Full-well capacity: Greater than 23,000 e- (unbinned)

-Anti-blooming: Overload margin greater than 1000x.

-Dark current: Less than 0.1 electrons/second @ + 10C ambient.

-Data format: 16 bits.

-System gain: 0.3 electrons per ADU

-Lens details: 2.5mm FL f1.2 ‘Fish-Eye’ 150

-Computer Interface: Built-in USB 2.0 compatible interface.

-Image download time: Typically 0.6 seconds at full resolution using USB 2.0.

-Power requirements: Camera & Dew Heater require 12v at 1.5 amp max.

-Input connection: ‘Mini B’ USB socket for USB2.0 and a 2.1mm jack for +12v heater supply.

-Cooling system: Ambient air cooling.

-Viewing dome: High quality polycarbonate hemisphere (replaceable)

-Overall size: 150mm tall x 95mm diameter

You can learn more about the Oculus PRO All-Sky Camera here.

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