When the work with this thesis took place a Photometrics Series 200 CCD Camera System became available. This is a CCD camera with all necessary electronics and software. The available system has a resolution of pixels with 12-bits grey level resolution. Because the research in this thesis is among the first works done with this new camera it is natural to give an introduction to the features of the camera. The camera system works as an ordinary camera in the sense that all of the photosensitive area is exposed to light at the same time. This is done in practice by opening a shutter mechanism. The response of the CCD is proportional to the light intensity while for photographic film it is logarithmic. This makes the resolution in grey levels of the CCD higher than for ordinary film. The exposure time can be varied according to the light conditions. This makes the camera much more suitable than a video camera which uses the scanner principle.
Below is described the hardware of the system, the architecture of the CCD-chip, noise effects, maintenance, precautions and developed software. More detailed information about the system can be found in the System Configuration Manual.