IMAGING & DECTECTOR

e2v (Chelmsford, England), designer, developer, and manufacturer of specialized imaging components and subsystems, was selected by Thales Alenia Space to provide the high-performance CCD image sensors to be used in the European Space Agency‘s (ESA) Sentinel-3 Earth observation satellite.

Oct 1st, 2008

Thales selects e2v for satellite imaging

e2v (Chelmsford, England), designer, developer, and manufacturer of specialized imaging components and subsystems, was selected by Thales Alenia Space to provide the high-performance CCD image sensors to be used in the European Space Agency‘s (ESA) Sentinel-3 Earth observation satellite. Sentinel-3 is part of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative to deliver environmental and security services in Europe. The CCD55-20 is an updated version of the CCD25-20, which was supplied to ESA for the MERIS instrument, the predecessor of Sentinel-3. It is a high-performance, back-illuminated frame-transfer CCD image sensor optimized for hyperspectral imaging.

NASA and Photek mark detector milestone

Photek (St. Leonards on Sea, England) is celebrating its 11th Anniversary with Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), the mission managed by NASA that measures and compares the composition of several samples of matter including the solar corona and wind, local interstellar medium, and galactic matter using the Photek MCP340 image intensifier for the Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer (CRIS) experiment which launched on ACE in 1997. “The instrument utilizes a scintillating fiber hodoscope read out by the image intensifiers coupled to CCD arrays,” said W. R. Binns of Washington State University. “The instrument and the image intensifier have been operating flawlessly, with no significant degradation in performance, since launch more than 10 years ago.”

LCD forecast remains super healthy

DisplaySearch (Austin, TX), a display market research and consulting firm, reports in its Quarterly TFT LCD Supply/Demand and Capital Spending Report that 2008 is expected to see sales of equipment used to manufacture thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal displays (TFT LCDs) surge 58% to $13 billion, reaching near-historic levels not seen since 2004. “Reduced fab utilization in July by panel manufacturers combined with seasonal demand affects could lead to healthier supply/demand in September and October,” said Charles Annis, vice president of Manufacturing Research. Spurred by the large number of new fabs being built this year and ramping next, TFT LCD array capacity is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 35% from 2000 to 2013.

QinetiQ to develop ’first-of-their-kind‘ sensors

A QinetiQ (Hampshire, England)-led team secured a 33-month $22 million follow-on research contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in support of its Large Area Coverage Optical Search While Track and Engage program. Defense and security equipment firm QinetiQ is working with Goodrich ISR Systems on the sensor technology. The concept is to develop a sensor system that operates at high altitude (approximately 20 km), possibly on an airship or endurance UAV, that detects and simultaneously tracks large numbers of moving vehicles in dense urban areas 24 hours a day with a high degree of accuracy and wide field of view, with high resolution and sensitivity. QinetiQ‘s solution is based on novel adaptive coded aperture imaging, a new camera technology with a wide range of defense, security, industrial, and commercial applications.

ULIS wins contract for uncooled thermal sensors

Infrared vision specialist ULIS (Veurey-Voroize, France), a division of Sofradir, signed a five-year contract with Sagem Dé fense Sé curité (Groupe SAFRAN) as a primary supplier for major weapon sights, handheld equipment, and cameras, including the French army‘s Future Infantry Soldier System (FELIN). Uncooled microbolometers will be used to fit the thermal-imaging rifle sights, multifunction goggles, and cameras for day and night operation and improved target acquisition. “The fact that we successfully passed extremely stringent qualification tests confirms that ULIS‘s technology is also highly suitable for military applications,” said Jean-François Delepau, managing director of ULIS.

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Also in the news . . .

According to a report from display consultant and forecasting firm Insight Media (Norwalk, CT), Nokia will only select panel suppliers that are able to develop amorphous organic light-emitting-diode displays. . . . CCD and CMOS camera maker Allied Vision Technologies (AVT; Germany) acquired 100% of the shares of digital-camera maker Prosilica (Burnaby, BC, Canada), extending the range of Gigabit Ethernet and FireWire cameras available to the market for industrial image processing. . . . The U.S. Display Consortium (San Jose, CA) has formally expanded its mission to support the emerging flexible, printed electronics market by changing its name to the FlexTech Alliance; however, it is still committed its support for supply-chain development for next-generation displays, such as OLEDs, flexible displays, MEMs-based, and 3-D displays.

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