Imaging & Detector Industry Report

Oct. 1, 2005
e2v technologies (Chelmsford, England), a developer and manufacturer of components and subsystems, and known for its large CCD sensors, was awarded the flight-phase contract to supply the European Space Agency (ESA) with CCD imaging sensors on its GAIA space mission.

e2v supplies image sensors to Gaia space mission

e2v technologies (Chelmsford, England), a developer and manufacturer of components and subsystems, and known for its large CCD sensors, was awarded the flight-phase contract to supply the European Space Agency (ESA) with CCD imaging sensors on its GAIA space mission. This contract is worth €14.3 million ($11.6 million) over the coming three years and is the culmination of a successful two-year contract for the design and development of a custom CCD image sensor for Gaia.

Anticipated for launch in 2011, Gaia aims to map the Milky Way galaxy by logging the 1 billion stars and more than 100,000 objects in our solar system, creating the largest, most accurate 3-D map of the galaxy to date. The sky will be continually scanned and it is estimated that as many as 10,000 planets around other stars may be discovered.

GT Solar signs $33M contract

GT Equipment Technologies (Merrimack, NH) has entered into an agreement worth more than $33 million with LDK Solar Hi-Tech Co. (Jiangxi, China) to create a nearly 75-MW photovoltaic wafer fabrication line for solar energy applications. The line is being produced by GT Equipment Technologies’ solar division-GT Solar Technologies.

By October of 2005, LDK Solar will double its solar wafer capacity with GT Equipment and expects to reach 200 MW by the end of 2006. “This is the largest contract in GT Equipment’s 11-year history,” said Kedar Gupta, GT Equipment Technologies’ chairman and CEO. “It will provide LDK Solar with the ability to manufacture and sell solar wafers in the major market of China where the demand for energy resources is growing at a fast clip.”

LDK Solar Hi-Tech Co. is a part of Liouxin Group, which has 12,000 employees, and is a major company in Asia for the manufacture of personal protective equipment (PPE), power tools, and elevators. With this agreement, the company is diversifying into solar energy products.

Redlake chosen as exclusive camera provider

Redlake MASD (San Diego, CA) entered into an agreement with General Motors to be the exclusive provider of high-speed cameras for vehicle crash, sled, and impact testing. The contract, valued at more than $5 million, has General Motors taking delivery of numerous Redlake HG-Series cameras that consist of the HG-100K, HG-TH and HG-LE.

The decision was made following an evaluation process that focused on the key criteria of price, performance, technical capability, and service. Redlake’s HG-Series of cameras successfully met the company’s requirements in every area. In addition, the versatility provided by the tethered-head design of the HG-TH was an important factor. The ability of the small lightweight camera heads to fit into confined spaces and onto low-mass mounting surfaces allows GM to see safety-critical interactions in areas never before seen during impacts.

Edmund Optics creates VIP team

Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) has teamed with Epic Vision Systems (St. Louis, MO), Braas Company (Eden Prairie, MN), Minarik (Glendale, CA), Wineman Technology (Saginaw, MI) and other system integrators to help customers solve their machine-vision problems. Termed Vision Integration Partners (VIP), the team provides onsite vision-system integration services anywhere in the world.

Customers can contact the VIP team through Edmund Optics’ regular sales force. VIP assigns locally headquartered automation specialists from team companies to help customers evaluate their specific needs and develop a customized vision solution. Edmund Optics vision engineers then review the plan to ensure that the components selected meet the customer’s expectations at the right price.

Recent projects Edmund has completed with VIP team members include material verification for the pharmaceutical industry, semiconductor component inspection, automotive part compliance, and packaging inspection for the food and beverage industry.

Gail Overton

Also in the news . . .

Micro-Photon Devices (MPD; Bolzano, Italy) named PicoQuant (Berlin, Germany) the sole European distributor of its PDM-series single-photon sensitive avalanche photodiodes (SPAD); it has also entered into exclusive distribution agreements with Optoelectronic Components (Montreal, Canada) for the North American market, and Pitotech (Chang Hua City, Taiwan) for the Taiwanese market. . . . VisEn Medical (Cambridge, MA), a pioneer in the field of optical molecular imaging, raised $4 million of additional venture-capital financing.

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