CMOS imager engineering units
SRI International
Menlo Park, CA
650-859-2000
www.sri.com

SRI International, working with TowerJazz (Newport Beach, CA), has delivered the first complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) imager engineering units to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for use on the Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI) optical telescope. With its large field of view, SoloHI will make high-resolution images of the corona and solar wind, and be able to connect remote sensing observations of the corona to the plasma being measured in situ at the spacecraft.

SoloHI is part of the NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) Solar Orbiter mission. Planned for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in 2017, the spacecraft is expected to study the Sun from a closer distance than any previous mission.

The Solar Orbiter mission will be the first time that such a large-format CMOS detector has flown. SoloHI’s measurements will allow scientists to identify space weather events such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which can affect electromagnetic fields on Earth that may impact power lines, satellite communications, and cellphone service.

The SoloHI imager is a CMOS image sensor (CIS) built using customized 0.18-um CMOS technology. The radiation-hardened 2k x 2k (4-megapixel) CMOS imagers have passed engineering testing by SRI and are now ready for NRL testbed integration. The full-flight SoloHI focal plane will incorporate a mosaic of four imagers providing a 4k x 4k (16-megapixel) format.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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