Friday, December 20, 2013

1 Giga-pixel, 0.5sq.m Sensor Launched to Space

IEEE Spectrum: ESA Gaia space observatory equipped with 106 e2v's CCDs with the total area of 0.5m x 1m and combined resolution of 1 Giga-pixel has been launched to space on a five year mission to map the galaxy.

This focal plane array has been designed and built by Astrium and will contain a mosaic of 106 large area, high performance Charged Coupled Device (CCD) CCD91-72 image sensors, which are custom designed, manufactured and tested by e2v. The CCD package is 3 sided buttable, to minimise the dead space between CCDs when they are tiled together in the mosaic. The CCDs are of BSI type, so this becomes not only the largest sensor camera, but also the largest BSI camera in space.

Hans Faulks, General Business Unit Manager for Space and Astronomy commented: "We are immensely proud and excited to finally see our image sensors embark on this mission. All the hard work, dedication and expertise that has been put into our sensors and into the mission will finally come to fruition. Our products will now play their part in history as we help increase our understanding of our universe."

Gaia CCD array assembly. Source: ESA

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