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iKon-XL 231

Andor’s NEW iKon-XL is a TE-cooled, very large area CCD camera platform, accommodating big field of view sensors that are ideally suited to long exposure astronomy applications. Patent-pending ColdSpace™ technology thermoelectrically cools a back-illuminated 16.8 Megapixel sensor (e2v) down to -100 °C, avoiding the requirement for liquid nitrogen or unreliable cryo coolers. Extended Dynamic Range technology is complemented by up to 18-bit digitization capability.

The iKon-XL 231 model uses the e2v CCD231-84 ‘astro’ back-illuminated sensor, combining exceptionally low read noise of 2.1 e- with a very large well depth of 350,000 e- and available with a range of sensor QE coatings, in both standard and deep depletion formats.

  • – 100 °C TE cooled large area sensors
  • NO liquid nitrogen, NO cryo-cooler
  • Extended Dynamic Range (18-bit)
  • e2v CCD231-84 sensor (deep depletion available)


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Andor’s iKon-XL is a thermoelectrically (TE) cooled, very large area CCD camera platform, accommodating large field of view sensors that are ideally suited to long exposure astronomy applications. Using the unique, patent-pending ColdSpace™ technology, the ultrasensitive iKon-XL is capable of TE cooling a 16.8 Megapixel sensor (e2v back-illuminated) down to -100 °C, avoiding the requirement for liquid nitrogen or unreliable cryo coolers. The iKon-XL also uses an exclusive Extended Dynamic Range technology, facilitating lowest noise and maximum well depth within one scan, complemented by up to 18-bit digitization capability. Flexible connectivity is standard through either USB 3.0 or a long distance direct fibre optic interface.

The iKon-XL 231 model uses the e2v CCD231-84 ‘astro’ back-illuminated sensor, offering a very large 61.4 x 61.4 mm imaging area from a 4096 x 4112 array format and 15 µm pixel size. Available with a range of sensor QE coatings, in both standard and deep depletion formats (the latter for extended NIR coverage), the model also offers the absolute best CCD performance available, combining exceptionally low read noise of 2.1 e- with a very large well depth of 350,000 e-. Facilitated by iKon-XL’s unique Extended Dynamic Range technology, even a non-binned image requires 18-bit digitization in order not to under-sample the resulting extraordinary dynamic range!

Thermoelectric Cooling to -100°C (Liquid/Water) - Patent-pending ColdSpace™ very large area TE cooling technology avoids need for liquid nitrogen or unreliable cryo coolers. Minimization of darkcurrent to below the zodiacal background.

61.4 x 61.4 mm sensor - Very large field of view from 16.8 Megapixel, 15 µm pixel pitch sensor.

Extended Dynamic Range - Unique method to achieve lowest noise and maximum well depth within one scan. Supplemented by up to 18-bit digitization.

Peak QE over 95% (deep depletion available) - High photon collection efficiency for maximising SNR

Low noise readout - Intelligent low-noise electronics, combined with the ‘astro’ CCD231-84 sensor, deliver the lowest CCD noise available.

350,000 e- well depth - Extremely high well depth for linear quantification of relatively bright signal.

UltraVac™ - Critical for sustained vacuum integrity and to maintain unequalled cooling and QE performance, year after year.

‘Deep Cooled’ and ‘Compact’ versions - ‘Deep Cooled’ for -100 °C water/liquid (no air cooling). ‘Compact’ for smaller form factor and combined -80 °C water liquid; -60 °C air cooled.

Fibre-optic or USB 3.0 interface flexibility - Built-in robust plug and play interface options as standard. Fibre optic for long distance solution.

Balanced Quad-port readout - Tracking stability to ensure all readout circuits experience same temperature and operating conditions, yielding well balanced quadrants. Optional (software selected) single port readout mode.

Upgrades/Accessories

XL-SH-STD - Replacement ‘standard’ shutter unit for the iKon-XL. For use between 0°C and +30°C ambient temperatures.

XL-SH-EXT - Replacement ‘extended temperature range’ shutter unit for the iKon-XL. For use between -30°C and +30°C ambient temperatures.

XL-F-CAB-ST-15M - 15 m camera cable with straight attachment for the CCU-500A (iKon-XL Flexi model) If this is ordered it will be provided instead of the standard 5 m cable.

XL-DC-CAB-ST-15M - 15 m camera cable with straight attachment for the CCU-500B (iKon-XL Deep Cooled model) If this is ordered it will be provided instead of the standard 5 m cable

FIBR-25M - Additional 25 m fibre optic cable, LC-LC patch lead OM2.

FIBR-100M - Additional 100 m fibre optic cable, LC-LC patch lead OM3.

XL-F-TRANS-CASE - Hard shell protective transport case for the iKon-XL Flexi model. Tailored to dimensions of the iKon-XL

Flexi model for secure transport to and from observing sites.

XL-DC-TRANS-CASE - Hard shell protective transport case for the iKon-XL Deep Cooled model. Tailored to dimensions of the iKon-XL Deep Cooled model for secure transport to and from observing sites.

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