On 4th March 2010, e2v charged coupled device (CCD) imaging sensors were launched into space by NASA from Cape Canaveral, Florida onboard a Delta IV rocket, carrying the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationâ€™s (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-P (GOES-P). GOES-P is the third and final spacecraft to be launched in the GOES N series of geostationary environmental weather satellites. Built by The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], the N-P series of satellites are designed to improve predictions regarding hurricanes, flash floods and severe storm warnings, and to help track global climate change. In addition to weather forecasting on Earth, the Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) instrument on GOES-P will also help to monitor solar conditions that affect Earth by utilising its telescope assembly, which monitors the sunâ€™s x-ray emissions. Forecasts of the effects of solar disturbances such as solar flares and charged particle clouds, will reduce damage to satelliteâ€“based electronics and communications, and reduce the consequences of resultant power surges.
e2v supplied 20 flight model and 20 engineering model CCDs for the SXI instruments on GOES-N, O and P. The instruments were designed and built at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, California. e2v worked closely with University College Londonâ€™s Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) and Lockheed on the design, characterisation and supply of the e2v CCD64 imaging sensors for this programme, which were supplied in a custom package.
The e2v CCDs have an image area of 512(h) x 580(v) pixels; each pixel is 16.0Âµm square. The devices are back-illuminated to an optimised device thickness, in order to achieve the maximum x-ray mean charge capture performance of the devices.
e2vâ€™s performance in support of the SXI programme was recognised by Lockheed, who presented e2v (and MSSL) with a â€˜superior performanceâ€™ award. The new CCD package design concept for GOES-N-P has since become a standard that was repeated on the Focal Plane Package for Solar-B and more recently the Solar Dynamics Observatory.
Jon Kemp, General Manager of Space & Defence Imaging at e2v said â€œe2v is proud to have played an enabling part in such an advanced next generation weather satellite, which will serve the US and other areas of the world. We look forward to working with Boeing, Lockheed and MSSL on similar space programmes in the near future.â€
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e2vâ€™s objective is to be a global leader in the design, supply and ongoing service & support of specialised components and sub-systems that enable the worldâ€™s leading systems companies to deliver innovative solutions for medical & science, aerospace & defence, and commercial & industrial markets.
e2v is organised into four divisions:
- High performance electron devices and subsystems for applications including: defence electronic countermeasures, radiotherapy cancer treatment, radar systems, safety and arming devices, industrial heating, satellite communications amplifiers, digital television transmitters and high power RF systems.
- Advanced CCD and CMOS imaging sensors and cameras for applications including: space, science and life science imaging, industrial process control, intra-oral and panoramic dental X-ray systems and military surveillance.
- Specialist semiconductors, including logic, memory and microprocessors (in partnership with Freescale Semiconductor) for: high reliability mission-critical programmes in avionics, telecommunications and defence, sensor data acquisition, and high speed data conversion. Integral to the product range are assembly & test and obsolescence mitigation services.
- A range of professional sensing products for applications including: environmental safety, x-ray spectroscopy, automotive alarm & security systems and fire, rescue & security thermal imaging.
For the year ended 31 March 2009, e2v achieved sales of Â£233m and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. In October 2008 e2v acquired QP semiconductor, a leading US-based designer and supplier of specialty semiconductor components used in military and aerospace applications, establishing e2vâ€™s first US manufacturing base.
The Company is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has approximately 1700 employees in production facilities across Europe and North America. e2v also operates a global network of sales and technical support offices, supported by local distributors and resellers.
Further information is available from www.e2v.com