EMCCD colour camera revolutionises low-light imaging

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Firstsight Vision is adding the new IK-1000ME extreme low-light colour camera to its range of specialist cameras. This camera is said to bring extraordinary performance at a highly competitive price.

It features Toshiba's proprietary electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD) detector, which not only allows clear, crisp colour images to be obtained at light levels in the region of 10 -4 lux (equivalent to moonless overcast conditions), but will also operate in lighting right up to 102 lux (equivalent to direct sunlight).

This phenomenal dynamic range, which far exceeds capabilities offered by conventional CCD, low-light CCD and third-generation image-intensifier cameras, is achieved through the peltier-cooled, electron EMCCD sensor. EMCCD technology creates an intense electrical field on the sensor, generating new electrons at very fast speeds without the common readout noise of traditional CCDs. This gives full colour and virtually noiseless images at TV scan rates in almost complete darkness.

The new detector is 1000 times more sensitive than a conventional colour CCD and offers excellent spatial resolution of 658 x 496 pixels. An electronic shutter, adjustable to 1/2000s, is incorporated.

Firstsight Vision believes the new camera has a host of potential applications. In addition to use in machine vision applications, it can be used for low-light scientific and biotechnology imaging. Other application areas include underwater imaging, military surveillance, non-destructive testing and mine and safety inspection.

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