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11 October 2010

e2v awarded a contract to develop image sensors for ESA’s Euclid mission to map the geometry of the dark Universe

e2v, a leading global provider of high performance imaging solutions has been awarded a contract to develop a new Charge Coupled Device (CCD) imaging sensor by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Euclid space science mission. The aim of the mission, through the Euclid visible channel instrument, is to map and survey the shapes of galaxies to investigate the geometry of the dark universe through weak gravitational lensing.

Weak gravitational lensing requires extremely high image quality to measure the true distortions by gravity. e2v’s image sensors will form the visible focal plane array in the Euclid space telescope. The CCDs will be large area back illuminated devices optimised for 550-920nm. The devices will be manufactured for close-buttability to minimise dead area in the focal plane and reduce the telescope size, mass and cost.

Once launched, the satellite will orbit the sun 1.5 million km beyond the earth for a period of 5 years. During that time the extra galactic sky will be surveyed which is about half of the full sky, excluding the Milky Way.

The mission is in a competitive definition phase with two other ESA Cosmic Vision programmes: Solar Orbiter and Plato, for which e2v has also won a development contract. The two successful missions will be selected in June 2011 and will be carried forward into implementation leading to a launch in 2018.

e2v imaging Marketing and Applications Manager, Jon Kemp said, “e2v is excited to be developing this new high performance image sensor for ESA’s Euclid mission. If taken forward to the flight phase, information on the nature of dark matter and energy will accelerate the discovery of answers to many of today’s biggest scientific questions.

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e2v is a leading global provider of technology solutions for high performance systems; delivering solutions, sub-systems and components, to advanced systems companies, for specialist applications within medical & science, aerospace & defence, and commercial & industrial markets.

e2v is headquartered in the UK, employs approximately 1500 people, has design and production facilities across Europe and North America, and has a global network of sales and technical support offices. For the year ended 31 March 2010, e2v reported sales of over £200m and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information visit