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Teledyne e2v signs contract with UK Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation to develop advanced CMOS TDI image sensor for small satellite applications

Teledyne e2v, a Teledyne Technologies company, in partnership with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), and the Centre for Electronic Imaging (CEI) at The Open University (OU), has been awarded a contract to develop technology building blocks of a low power and high resolution CMOS image sensor tailored to address the small satellite Earth Observation (EO) market.

Under the contract (awarded by the UK Space Agency via the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation), Teledyne e2v, in collaboration with other organizations within Teledyne’s Imaging Group, will lead the development of new technology which will simplify EO satellite system design using CMOS Time Delay and Integration (TDI) image sensors.

Teledyne’s CMOS TDI platform will bring small pixels, high line rates, and on-chip functionality, including digital outputs, to enable cost-effective small satellite optical payloads. The technology will support many emerging EO applications such as land use mapping, urban infrastructure, agriculture, national resource management, disaster management, maritime, security, and surveillance – applications which are not well served with traditional sensor solutions. This latest development will contribute key building blocks to the industry-leading technology that Teledyne Imaging can offer to the global space market.

In conjunction with SSTL’s world-leading experience in building very high-resolution small satellite imagers and the OU’s capabilities in sensor characterization and testing, Teledyne e2v will deliver an EO imaging system that demonstrates a more affordable space asset cost for customers looking at 0.5 meter systems and applications.

Although traditional Charge Coupled Device (CCD) technology continues to deliver the very highest performance for many demanding applications, some key benefits of CMOS TDI image sensors are:

  • Reduced power consumption
  • Increased on-chip integration and functionality
  • Reduced size, volume, and cost of the complete sensor and front-end electronics

By leveraging these benefits, larger constellations can be launched to achieve higher temporal resolution.

Dr Miles Adcock – President of Teledyne e2v Space Imaging said: “We are thrilled to be awarded this contract by the CEOI to develop a new EO camera system with SSTL and the OU using our world-leading CMOS TDI technology. Teledyne is synonymous with advanced imaging sensors for space applications, and we are excited by the prospects to push this flagship technology further.”

Graham Turnock – Chief Executive Officer of the UK Space Agency said: “Teledyne is a world-leader in EO imaging sensors and this investment helps them to maintain a competitive edge in the design, development, and manufacture of innovative CMOS sensors for the future space market for Earth observation. The partnership with SSTL and the OU is one of the reasons that the UK is the best place in the world for space.”

Teledyne e2v, and Teledyne Dalsa, are part of the Teledyne Imaging Group and will be exhibiting at the Farnborough International Airshow from the 16th to the 22nd July in the Space Zone in Hall 1, within the UK Space Agency / ESA pavilion where technical and commercial authorities will be available to discuss further CMOS TDI technology and other capabilities from Teledyne Imaging.

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