ZEPHIR™ 2.5 Infrared cameras, NIR / SWIR

MCT camera for eSWIR imaging

The ZephIR 2.5 is a fully integrated HgCdTe camera with a 320 x 256 pixels focal plane array (FPA) sensitive from 850 to 2500 nm. The camera provides low noise detection and easy operation. This is in large part due to a four stages thermoelectric cooler (TEC) which can maintain operating temperature as low as -80 °C. The TEC’s forced air heat dissipation requires none of the maintenance of a water or liquid nitrogen chilled unit and does not suffer from the limited lifetime of Stirling mechanical coolers.

The camera’s hardware coded region-of-interest (ROI) enables the user to choose between a full-frame rate of 340 frames per second (fps) and a windowed rate of up to 3000 fps. Users can also choose to use Photon etc’s PHySpec camera control software or develop their own using an extensive software development kit (SDK).

Technical Specifications
Focal plane array (FPA) HgCdTe
FPA size (px) 320 x 256
Pixel size (µm) 30
Spectral range (QE > 10%) 0.85 - 2.5 µm
FPA operating temperature -80 °C
Dark current (sensor at -80 °C) Target at 21 °C: < 30 (Typ. ~20) Mē/px/s
Gain setting (ē/ADU) High: 10.3 | Low: 216
Readout noise (ē) High: 150 | Low: 980
Digitization (bits) 14
Frame rate in CameraLink™ (fps) Up to 340 full frame. 2000 for a 64x64 px ROI
Frame rate in USB 3.0 (fps) Up to 340fps full frame. 2000fps for a 64x64 px ROI
Quantum efficiency Up to 85%
Computer interface CameraLink™ or USB 3.0
Dimensions 169 mm x 130 mm x 97.25 mm
Weight 2.6 kg


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By Simon Lessard and Laura-Isabelle Dion-Bertrand

Dark current is a critical parameter when one is looking to acquire a scientific imaging camera, especially in the short-wave infrared (SWIR) region. Very careful attention must be paid to the cooling method used to optimize this parameter. Multiple cooling technologies are available, each having certain benefits and drawbacks. In its new ZephIR line of SWIR cameras, Photon etc. uses a four-stage thermoelectric (TE4) air-cooled system to enhance the sensitivity of its imaging sensors. In this white paper, a short introduction to thermoelectric (TE) cooling is presented, as well as a comparison with other available cooling methods.

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