Electro-Optical Observations

The Canadian Automated Meteor Observatory

The High Resolution Wide-field Camera


Inside each shed are two separate low light level video systems. The first is a wide field, high bitdepth sensitive camera system using the commercially available PCO Imaging PCO.1600 camera. This high sensivity, high resolution CCD produces a 1600x1200 image with progressive frame rate run at 20 frames per second and a bit depth of 14.


The camera is lens coupled to an ITT Nitecam model 380i generation 3 image intensifier. The digital output from the camera is streamed to disk using the cameralink framegrabber. A GPS stamp is digitally embedded within the streamed data and is accurate to a fraction of the interframe time. The entire system is mounted inside an environmentally controlled camera housing and pointed at a fixed azimuth and altitude at each site with maximum height overlap near 100 km.


The high resolution, wide field system has a 21 degree field of view and a +10 stellar magnitude limit. The camera is able to detect meteors to a limiting magnitude of +7.5. All streamed meteor imagery from each night is searched automatically using the MeteorScan software developed by P. Gural on a distributed network of PCs. An example movie showing a common pair of two station meteors from Elginfield and Tavistock are here and here respectively. The systems detect approximately 20 two station events per hour in the early morning.