Introducing the new MallinCam DS16cTEC - designed from the ground up to accommodate the most demanding wide field astronomical video imaging applications. Since most CMOS sensors cannot be directly cooled via a cold finger without the risk of damage and delamination over time, a new cooling system had to be considered. MallinCam developed a unique cooling system that provides no direct physical contact between the Peltier cooler and the sensor. Instead, the system creates a refrigerator-like convection cooling environment. This cooling system is unique to MallinCam, and is not found on other astronomical imaging cameras.
This cooling chamber - called refrigeration cooling - subjects the CMOS sensor to a gentler cool-down (and warm-up) inside a triple sealed, evacuated chamber. A heating element is mounted around the periphery of the internal optical window so as to avoid dew and frost formation on the optical window and surroundings. The sealed vacuum chamber eliminates the need of a desiccant material.
Since the Panasonic 16MP class 1 Micro Splitter CMOS sensor of the MallinCam DS16cTEC is cooled via convection, thermal shock to it and its associated circuitry is reduced, if not avoided. CMOS sensors have other components mounted with them on the same wafer. This includes the digital logic circuitry (interface, timing, processing, output amplifiers, pad rings and associated oscillators), clocks and timing controls, analog signal processing, analog-to-digital converter. Such components subjected to direct Peltier/cold finger cooling could or would result in instability. And so these parts of the CMOS system in the DS16cTEC are isolated from the cooling system.
The result of this new technology, the SkyRaider DS16cTEC, is design for live visual application or video imaging. It is built to laboratory specifications, where CNC machining is used throughout to provide the rigid tolerances required for precise component matching and alignment. The chamber has six stainless steel screws securing the chamber cover, compressing to 100 pounds of pressure so as to avoid the potential for air leaks into the chamber.
The internal electronics use Grade 1 components with a tolerance of 0.5% - a military and aerospace standard in some cases. The camera contains 4Gb DDR3 internal memory to insure the smooth flow of data to the computer. The DS16cTEC also has a built-in USB2 hub that can support a guider or a USB type focuser or filter wheel.
Each camera is subjected to a 24-hour burn-in prior to shipment, to insure proper and reliable operation. It is details such as these which set MallinCam apart from its competitors.