Allsky Meteor Camera

All-sky CameraThe system consists of a low light level video camera with a fisheye lens. It looks up through a heated acrylic dome. The video signal is fed to a Matrox Meteor II frame grabber on a computer running Sirko Molau's Metrec program.

This is my second generation camera. Details of the original camera, which uses a hemispherical mirror, are still available here.

There is a fan at the base of the enclosure that circulates waste heat from the camera and its power supply up into the protective dome to help prevent dew and frost from accumulating.

The fisheye camera is more sensitive than the mirror system, and is able to detect stars to magnitude 2 when operating at 30 frames per second. By adding together multiple frames it is quite possible to detect 50 or more stars, allowing for very precise astrometric calibration.

Here is a basic parts list for the camera:

  1. Supercircuits PC164C video camera
  2. Rainbow L163VDC4P 1.6-3.4mm lens
  3. Rotron CR0612HB-A70GL 12VDC fan (available from Digikey)
  4. 5" optical acrylic dome (available from Surplus Shed)

I'm still in the process of documenting this project. I have here some very limited technical information. Feel free to email me if you want to build one of these cameras and have any questions.


© Copyright 2007, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.