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Teledyne e2v delivers first flight module for EUMETSAT’s Meteosat Third Generation (MTG)

Teledyne e2v, a Teledyne Technologies company, has reached a significant milestone in the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) instrument program with the delivery of the Proto-Flight Module (PFM) VISible Detector Assembly (VisDA), containing a novel CMOS image sensor, for EUMETSAT’s MTG-I satellite.

The MTG FCI VisDA contract awarded to Teledyne e2v in 2011, by Thales Alenia Space, prime contractor for the MTG program, is for the supply of five CMOS detector assemblies (four flight modules plus a spare), along with the necessary engineering and test modules, for assembly into four MTG-I imaging satellites.

The MTG FCI VisDA device is a, five channel, large pixel, programmable, radiation hard, front face illuminated, integrated sensor assembly. This novel CMOS image sensor boasts a number of imaging firsts.

VISible Detector Assembly (VisDA), containing a novel CMOS image sensor, for EUMETSAT’s MTG-I satellite. Shown in the safe handling jig with interconnect saver and cable loom for testing.

The image sensor utilizes very large (up to 100µm x 100µm) rhombus shaped pixels, as opposed to the usual square grid layout, which required new and unique solutions to column definition, a pixel readout scheme (utilizing best pixel mapping), and image capture.

A special black coating process on the die, developed in-house, minimizes reflections within the device.

The development of a custom optical filter was also required and integrated as part of the permanent window assembly. The filter uses a single piece of fused silica glass with multiple layers of the multispectral filters deposited accurately above the 5-channels of the detector to receive the specific wavelengths of light.

Additional key features include the incorporation of two calibrated temperature sensors, the termination of the CMOS chip with a custom flexi-connector ribbon – the other end of which is terminated with a customized circular instrument interface connector.

Christophe Tatard, Vice President Engineering and Operations of Teledyne e2v said: “This project has been a great challenge and demonstrates the unique capabilities and skills of both our Chelmsford and Grenoble sites in producing truly custom, space qualified, CMOS image sensors.“

Patrick Nicol, Head of Optical Products Department – Supplier Operations of Thales Alenia Space said:“ESA and Thales Alenia Space would like to congratulate the Teledyne e2v MTG team for the important and great job performed to reach VisDA PFM delivery.”

About Meteosat Third Generation (MTG):

MTG is the next-generation European operational geostationary meteorological satellite system, which is a collaborative program between EUMETSAT and the European Space Agency (ESA).

The satellite series will comprise four imaging (MTG-I) and two sounding satellites (MTG-S). These satellites will not be stabilized by the spinning of the platform, as was the case for the first two generations of Meteosat satellites, but by three axes stabilized platforms.

The imaging satellites, MTG-I, carry the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) and the Lightning Imager (LI) instruments. The sounding satellites, MTG-S, include an interferometer, the Infrared Sounder (IRS) and the Copernicus Sentinel-4 instrument, a high-resolution Ultraviolet Visible Near-infrared (UVN) spectrometer. In this way, this third generation of Meteosat will be able to scan and probe the Earth surface and the atmosphere with additional channels and better spatial, temporal and radiometric resolution.

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