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AstroCam

AstroCam is slow-scan astronomical imaging platform designed around a mass-market CCD imaging chip usually found in hand-held video cameras. The choice of a mass-market lower grade imaging chip means that the manufacturing cost can be kept lower than most of the more advanced scientific instruments you can find. What makes this camera different from others you might find is that this camera is designed to give the user a greater exposure to the control of the imaging chip and to the amount of processing carried out on the image data.


The original controller was based on a Hitachi micro processor running a Forth interpreter - pretty basic stuff, but it worked brilliantly because it was so easy to modify the software to change the control scheme used to read out the image. The appearance of the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and similar low-cost open-frame computers has persuaded me to re-open this project in the hope that it might appeal to anyone out there who may be interested in building their own astronomical slow-scan camera based around (for example) a Raspberry Pi.

The original design is (or will be...) published here.

Unfortunately the original design document has become corrupted over the last 18 years so it's going to be a little while longer before the design is available. We are working to fix this...

























The original controller was based on a Hitachi micro processor running a Forth interpreter - pretty basic stuff, but it worked brilliantly because it was so easy to modify the software to change the control scheme used to read out the image. The appearance of the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and similar low-cost open-frame computers has pursuaded me to re-open this project in the hope that it might appeal to anyone out there who may be interested in building their own astronomical slow-scan camera based around (for example) a Raspberry Pi.

The original design is (or will be...) published here.

Unfortunately the original design document has become corrupted over the last 18 years so it's going to be a little while longer before the design is available. We are working to fix this...