Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sensors and Space

Teledyne DALSA announces the NASA-designed, DALSA-manufactured CCDs are embedded in the Engineering Cameras of the Mars Curiosity Rover, launched on Saturday, November 26, 2011. The Engineering Cameras, known as the Navcam and Hazcam cameras, are located on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover and are used for navigation on the surface of Mars. The Rover will use 4 Navcam cameras and 8 Hazcam cameras.

Navcams (Navigation Cameras) are B&W stereo cameras using visible light to gather panoramic, 3D imagery for ground navigation planning by scientists and engineers. Hazcams (Hazard Avoidance Cameras) are B&W cameras using visible light to capture 3D imagery to safeguards against the rover getting lost or inadvertently crashing into unexpected obstacles, and works in tandem with software that allows the rover to make its own safety choices and to "think on its own."

Teledyne DALSA also announced it will partner with Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) to develop a new multispectral sensor for an advanced earth observation application. The multimillion dollar development project is expected to begin delivering high resolution images during 2014 for applications such as urban planning and environment and disaster monitoring. Custom multispectral sensors to be designed and manufactured by 2013:

Monolithic multispectral imagers--3, 4, 5 or more different imaging areas on one chip

e2v has signed a multi-million dollar contract for a 2 year program to supply the complete 1.2 Giga-pixel camera system for the Javalambre Physics-of-the-Accelerating-Universe Astrophysical Survey (J-PAS) project funded by a consortium of Spanish and Brazilian astronomy institutes. J-PAS will be dedicated to creating a map of the observable Universe in 56 continuous wavebands from 350nm to 1000nm. The e2v cryogenic camera system has a 1.2 gigapixel mosaic array capable of being read out in 10 seconds.

The camera will be designed and built by e2v, will use 14 newly developed CCD290-99 sensors and includes a guarantee of the camera’s performance levels and a commercial warranty. The 85MP CCDs will be back-thinned and given a multi-layer, anti-reflection coating. They are a 9k x 9k pixel format, with multiple outputs for rapid readout times, and are mounted in a precision package to allow them to be assembled into a mosaic, providing an image area that is nearly 0.5m in diameter. The focal plane assembly will also include the telescope guide and wavefront sensors. The whole focal plane will then be contained in a custom cryogenic camera, with vacuum and cooling components and integrated electronics which will provide state-of-the-art low noise for maximum sensitivity.

e2v has also signed a multi-million Euro contract with Thales Alenia Space for the design, development and manufacture of a space qualified CMOS imaging sensor for use in the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) instrument of the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG), an ESA and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) program. The first MTG-I satellite is expected to be launched in 2017, with the first MTG-S following in early 2019.

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