The ATIK 4000LE color is a reduced cost version of the popular ATIK 4000 color camera. It features the same sensor and electronics as the ATIK 4000, but cooling is provided by a single-stage Peltier element, there is no water-cooling option, and fewer accessories are included. If you want the imaging power of the ATIK 4000 but don't need these extra features, then this is the camera for you. While the other cameras in the ATIK range use Sony sensors, the large-format cameras incorporate Kodak devices.
These have gained a great reputation in astrophotography and offer qualities not available in the Sony CCDs. However, optimum performance from the Kodak chips is only obtained with the use of highly sophisticated control electronics and advanced cooling systems, and this is where ATIK's expertise in design and build comes to the fore. The Kodak sensors require dark frames to be used for calibration, and these must be taken at the same temperature as the primary image. The ATIK 4000LE achieves this through the provision of full, set-point, temperature regulation using a single-stage Peltier element and fan. This can provide cooling to 33 degrees below ambient.
Such efficient cooling cuts thermal noise to an absolute minimum and reduces the prevalence of hot pixels, but it raises the risk of condensation forming in or on the camera. A high-efficiency desiccant is used to dry the air inside the sensor chamber, preventing internal condensation, while condensation on the outside of the camera is avoided with the use of heater elements which gently warm the window. The power supplied to this heater is controllable through software so that it can be adapted to the environmental conditions. The ATIK large-format cameras have been designed and built to fulfill the needs of the most demanding users, whilst offering an unparalleled simplicity of use.
The cameras have only two sockets - a 2.1mm socket for the 12V power supply and a USB2 port for communicating with the computer - and they are compatible with the highly acclaimed Capture software as well as AstroArt, CCDSoft and MaximDL. ATIK highly acclaimed Capture software is included for camera control and data acquisition, and plug-ins are included to allow use with AstroArt, CCDSoft and MaximDL.