Affordable Active Optics

Katie Curtis
Santa Barbara Instrument Group, pioneer of the first commercially available active-optics for amateur telescopes, has developed the AO-8 ($699) for their popular ST series of self-guiding USB cameras. The AO-8 utilizes a tip-tilt transmissive element to correct for tracking errors and some atmospheric distortions. It requires significantly less back focus than the older mirror-based AO-7. As a result, the AO-8 can be used with off-axis guiders in conjunction with the optional Remote Guide Head ($695), enabling it to guide on fainter stars at rates of up to 10 corrections per second without having to guide through your imaging filters. The AO-8 also offers a larger clear aperture than its predecessor, and it's powered through the proprietary I2C accessory port of any ST-series camera.

Santa Barbara Instrument Group

47-A Castilian Dr.
Santa Barbara, CA 93117

805-571-7244; www.sbig.com

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