At Astronomical Research Cameras, Inc., we design, develop and
manufacture controllers for operating CCD and infrared imaging arrays for astronomical and
related applications. They can control a wide variety of imaging arrays in a medley of
exposure and readout modes at medium to low speeds with detector limited noise levels. The
controllers include electronic circuits, mechanical assemblies, power supplies and supporting
software. They are variously known as “Leach controllers”, "ARC controllers", as well as "SDSU
controllers" for their origins at San Diego State University. Additionally, we can supply
turn-key customized systems incorporating almost any type of scientific CCD.
The CCD and IR array controllers offered by ARC are “open” and modular systems intended to allow the user to tailor them to individual requirements and preferences. A general purpose timing generator build around a DSP can be programmed by the user to generate waveforms, readout and control sequences. The voltage levels required to control the imaging arrays are all programmable by the user, as is the processing of the arrays’ video output. The user can select a variable number of circuits to include in a system based on the number of devices being operated and the number of distinct video signals requiring processing. Furthermore, all software source code and almost all electronic circuit diagrams are made available to the users at no extra cost.
To complement the flexible and general nature of the controllers, a suite of application software is made available to control a number of CCD and IR arrays that are currently commercially available, including the following: