BusinessWire: ESA has awarded and funded a contract to a European industrial consortium, led by Caeleste, with developing a new CMOS Sensor entirely designed, manufactured and tested within Europe. A High-Performance CMOS Sensor will be developed, aimed at demonstrating the capability to meet future ESA mission requirements (in terms of spectral sensitivity, SNR and environmental durability) for scientific space applications.
Caeleste, contributes to the project with over 250 man years of experience with the custom design and realization of CMOS sensors for various application domains, including space and astronomy applications.
LFoundry, with its wafer fab facility at Avezzano, Italy, is responsible for the manufacturing of the image sensor. LFoundry is able to manufacture sensors that respond to very stringent specifications such as cryogenic environment (at low temperatures - 180 degrees). Since 2006, the Avezzano site has been manufacturing imaging process technologies and products using technology nodes from 180nm down to 90nm technologies on 200mm wafers, including volume copper Back End of Line (BEOL), BSI processes and extensive testing capabilities.
Airbus Defence and Space will provide its 15 years’ experience in CMOS Sensors development for Space Applications and perform a characterization campaign in parallel to the one performed at Caeleste.
“The collaboration with ESA makes us very proud,” declares Patrick Henckes, CEO at Caeleste “since we can play a strategic role in shaping the future of Europe’s space capability for image sensors, in accordance with the mission of ESA. Moreover, having LFoundry and Airbus Defence and Space as partners brings in their enormous expertise in this field and this will contribute considerably to the outcome and to the quality of the project.”