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Sensitivity calibration of digital colour cameras for auroral imaging

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Kjetil Aune

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kjetil.aune@nofima.no

Optics Express ; Volume 16. p. 15623–15632. 2008

Sigernes, Fred; Holmes, Jeffrey Morgan; Dyrland, Margit Elisabeth; Lorentzen, Dag Arne; Svenøe, T; Heia, Karsten; Aso, T.; Chernouss, S; Deehr, CS

A method to sensitivity calibrate Digital Single Lens Reflective (DSLR) cameras is outlined. A low intensity calibrated light source tunable in wavelength is described. 31 monochromatic lines from 4000 to 7000 Å with a bandpass of ~12 Å were used to find the spectral responses for the D70 and the D200 cameras manufactured by Nikon. The source radiance ranged from about 300 to 1.6k R/Å. The cameras were operated in manual mode with 4 seconds exposure time at ISO 1600, which are typical settings required for night time photography of the aurora. For the Nikon D200 camera, the blue, green and red spectral responsivities peak at 4600, 5300 and 5900 Å, respectively. The response was high for the blue colour channel with a clear cut-off at 4100 Å for the UV part of the spectrum. The red channel response indicates low sensitivity above 6600 Å. The D70 shows similar spectral responsivity, except that it peaks in the green colour channel and it is more sensitive to both UV and NIR radiation. Both cameras are capable of detecting night – and dayside auroral at 4 second exposure time. For optimal auroral imaging capability, the green and red spectral responsivities need to be shifted up by about 300 and 400 Å in wavelength

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