trifid camera

trifid camera

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A Many-in-One Camera

In 20 02, a small group of engineers, who had

p reviously worked for Hewlett-Pa ck a rd designing

The Trifid many-in-one camera for astronomers is now

available. Trifid is a many-in-one camera because it is

designed to support an ever growing list of highefficiency,

enhanced-blue, medical-quality imaging chips.

h i g h - q u a l i ty instruments, joined together under

the banner of Yankee Robotics, LLC to build our

own product. We challenged ourselves to design

a state-of-the-art astronomical camera with

i n c redible sensitivity and low noise for imaging

deep-sky objects. We were determined that our

c a m e ra would feature the firs t - rate hard w a re and

Imaging chip Mega Type Well size Peak Diagonal

-pixels µm QE size mm

KAF-1603ME 1.5 mono 9 82% 16.6

KAF-3200ME 3.2 mono 6.8 88% 17.9

KAF-6303E 6.3 mono 9 67% 33.2

KAF-5101CE 5.1 color 6.8 31% 22.2

KAF-10100CE 10.7 color 6.8 35% 31.7

M=microlens, C=color, E=enhanced blue

These imaging chips—which are the heart of any digital

camera—are manufactured by Kodak to specifications

especially suited for astronomers. They are the same

chips used in the more expensive cameras built by our

competitors, but Yankee Robotics offers the imaging chip

in the Trifid Camera without markup. Kodak’s price is your

price—just another way we keep your cost down.

software that astronomers need at an attractive price.

With the Trifid Camera, we believe we have succeeded.

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Patent Pending Design

Great pricing doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or features.

Our Trifid-2 electronics have patent pending “single

photon performance” and ultra-smooth background noise

to give you incredibly deep images in less time than our

competitors’ cameras can. A frame buffer built into the

camera and high-speed USB 2.0 downloads means the

images stream out in a hurry. “Saving You Time®” is not

just our motto and registered trademark: it is our passion.

Among Trifid’s advantages is its electronic cooling system

with water assist. This system regulates the temperature

of the imaging chip up to 50 degrees Celsius below the

water jacket temperature, which itself is cooled by water.

The light, compact camera body is CNC machined from

aircraft-quality billet aluminum to precise specifications,

and the durable quarter-inch shell is anodized dull-black

for a low-reflective finish.

Outstanding Efficiency

Unlike some cameras that have a coverslip attached to

the imaging chip, Yankee Robotics has eliminated the

coverslip, which improves the camera’s overall efficiency

by letting more light through. Our only window has a

broadband antireflective coating with high throughput

from the ultra-violet into the infra-red. You won’t believe

how much hydrogen-alpha filtered light comes through

with the coverslip removed.

Additional features make Trifid ex c e p t i o n a l :

• Real five-vane shutter make 0.02 second exposures a reality .

Additional features con’t.

• Adjustable gain and bias lets you tune the camera to

your mission and achieve single photon performance.

• High-speed USB 2.0 interface and a frame buffer means

that downloading a six mega-pixel (12 MB) image takes

less than two seconds.

User-Friendly, Flexible Software

As astronomers ourselves, we know that superior

hardware and an array of technological features is not

enough. So, we continued to pursue our goals to provide

a well-priced, competitive product by writing software

that ensures Trifid is functional and user-friendly. This

software gives astro-photographers a great “out of box”

experience, and makes the complex, multistage process

of taking astro-photographs as effortless as possible. Plus,

we give you the source code for our GUI application,

which means that the software can be modified and

adapted according to your needs and preferences.

The Trifid Camera software

is designed with the following features:

• Graphical program written in Visual Basic controls the camera.

• We provide the drivers so you can control Trifid from

CCDSoft, MaxIm/DL or AstroArt.

• Exposed COM interface on the camera driver permits

you to connect Trifid to a wide variety of software.

• Split design for electronics keeps low-noise analog circuitry on

one board, digital circuitry on the other. The boards are bridged

by a low noise, 16-bit analog-to-digital converter.

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What You Get

Yankee Robotics’ offerings don’t stop with the superior

hardware and state-of-the-art software. The Trifid Camera

ships in a Pelican case that features cut forms to

cushion and protect your camera in a dust-, water-, and

crush-proof environment. Trifid comes with all necessary

accessories, including a 6-foot USB 2.0 cable and 6-foot

coiled camera power cable. You will also receive a water

reservoir, an ice pack, a submersible 12-volt water pump

with a 6-foot coiled cord and 15 feet of clear plastic water

hose for the cooling system. For image processing, we

include a copy of the book Handbook of Astronomical Image

Processing version 2 by Richard Berry and James Burnell.

This book ships with the AIP4WIN program on CD-ROM

that allows you to turn Trifid's raw images into calibrated

images for anything from scientific study to pretty

pictures on your favorite website.


Yankee Robotics is a small, independent company

with low overhead, and a governing belief in providing

a high-quality astronomical camera at a reasonable price.

Our low, all-inclusive prices are as follows:

KAF - 160 3 ME based Trifid-2 Camera $5,570*

KAF - 3 2 0 0 ME based Trifid-2 Camera $5,980*

KAF-6303E based Trifid-2 Camera $6,780*

KAF-5101CE based Trifid-2 Camera $5,650*

KAF-10100CE based Trifid-2 Camera $6,780*

* Prices do not include tax or shipping and handling.

Plus, extra assurance that comes from…

• Lifetime warranty against defects in materials and


• A three year warranty against leaks in the cold ch a m b e r .

• 1,000,000 cycle warranty on the shutter.

• One-year warranty from Kodak on the imaging chip.

Learn more on our website,

e-mail us at

or call us toll-free at 888-FOR-YANKEE (888-367-9265).

Trifid Nebula image courtesy of Gemini Observatory / GMOS Image

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