Friday, July 16, 2010

e2v Cooperates on CMOS Sensor Design for South Korea Satellite

e2v announced that on June 26, 2010 CMOS sensors, assembled and qualified for space applications by e2v, were launched into space onboard the Communications, Oceanography and Meteorology Satellite (COMS-1), South Korea’s first weather communications satellite manufactured by Astrium.
The 2 Mega pixel COBRA 2M CMOS image sensors were developed by Astrium and the circuit designed by ISAE-CIMI (Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace). e2v utilised its space-dedicated industrial manufacturing capabilities to package, space qualify and deliver “flight model“ sensors. The imaging arrays will provide multi-spectral data to detect, monitor, quantify and predict short-term changes on the coastal ocean environment around Korea.

11 comments:

  1. any details on this 2MP sensor ??

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  2. what a shame for Korean ! Whare are the experts of Sumsung and Henyx, ... ???

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  3. those experts have to work on stuff that makes them real money...

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  4. If you don't mind my asking, why exactly is it a shame for South Korea that this satellite involves international cooperation?

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  5. Sorry this is NOT an internation cooperation, they just buy this satellite from Astrium. This image sensor is designed the poorly paid PhD students. South Korean guys can do this too !

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  6. What a shame for any nation...Why should one nation depend on another for "any" technology at all :)

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  7. I wonder if this sensor was designed by Pierre Magnan's group in Toulouse? If so, it was designed by a group with about 15 years experience in aerospace sensors incl. issues such as reliability, radiation hardness, and qualification (which is far more extensive than consumer product qual - itself a lengthy process).

    I can tell you with certainty that no one at Samsung has this kind of expertise and it is hard to imagine anyone at Samsung with the time to design and qual such a ultra-low volume product.

    I am 99.99% certain the same applies to Hynix. I don't think there is anyone in a Korean university with this sort of experience either.

    On the other hand, if the Korean government decided that such sensor technology was critical to their national defense, I have little doubt that they could and would find the resources to fund a Korean program to make such a device.

    "Make or buy" - a classic question for all aerospace programs as well as for industry.

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  8. What are the main difficulties in such device ?
    If you look at the architecture, it's so simple. A lot of difficult design issues can be corrected by external DSP/FPGA. I think that the main reason is that no industrial company would like to work on it except some university team with "cheap" labors.

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  9. The press release at the hyperlink states that "the satellite was jointly developed by the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and Astrium in France". So, with all due respect, I do believe it was a project involving international cooperation.

    For me, that is a good thing. Even if the joint development was mostly the KARI participants laying out the specifications and the Astrium participants saying what they could or couldn't deliver and then going off to build the system, there are still a bunch of Korean engineers and managers and - probably - French, English, and other EU engineers and managers who worked together and after hours went out for dinner and to watch some World Cup soccer. Or to do similar those-folks-over-there-are-pretty-much-like-folks-over-here activities.

    On the "make or buy" front, I'd like to think that most customers would look at performance or value as primary criteria in making a purchase decision, not the nationality of the makers. Maybe that's naive and idealistic, but a world that's always us-against-them and where we only buy from or help our own would be a harsh place indeed.

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  10. To Anonymous: It is not that easy to design an image sensor for space. You have to use specific circuitry/pixel structure and layout to make it radiation harden. Moreover, as Eric said, the qualification process requires a lot expertise as well.

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  11. Cypress annonced also their CMOS sensor in space, is it the same sensor ??

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