ESA's Mars Express obtained this view of an unnamed 35-kilometerwide impact crater located on the far northern area of Mars. (European Space Agency)
Charge coupled device (CCD) image sensors
e2v Technologies
Elmsford, NY

Imaging charge coupled devices (CCDs) from e2v are currently being used by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) in projects that will provide scientific data about Earth and other planets in our solar system. Twenty-five CCD image sensors currently are being used on the NASA HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) telescopic camera of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO); 14 of the sensors are time-delay integrated devices arranged in a long imager format to generate the high image width required. Once the MRO has reached its optimum location, it will commence scientific investigations, relying on the sensors to provide resolution from an orbiting spacecraft to help determine Mars’ water and ice history. The reconnaissance also will enable NASA to identify suitable landing zones for future planned robotic explorers and to establish whether the planet would support future human outposts.

Closer to home, e2v’s CCDs currently are circling the Earth with Envisat, ESA’s environmental observation satellite. Sixteen CCDs were supplied to the satellite, and are playing a role in the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars (GOMOS) instruments. These are two of the main instruments designed to examine the effects of global warming and oceanography via data collection on atmospheric chemistry, pollution, the ozone hole, oceans, and land surfaces.

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