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7 November 2008

e2v CCD image sensors have been selected by Thales Alenia Space to equip the Sentinel 3 Earth observation satellite

e2v, a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of specialised components and subsystems, has been selected by Thales Alenia Space to provide the high performance CCD image sensors to be used in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sentinel-3 Earth observation satellite.

Sentinel-3 is part of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative to deliver environmental and security services in Europe.  Led by the European Commission, it is in response to the ever-increasing demands for effective environmental policies.  ESA is responsible for the Space component of GMES, of which the five families of Sentinel missions are key components.

The CCD55-20 is an updated version of the CCD25-20, which was supplied to ESA for the MERIS instrument, the predecessor of Sentinel-3. It is a high performance, back-illuminated frame transfer CCD image sensor optimised for hyperspectral imaging. This optimisation includes the use of a ‘gated dump drain’ allowing the readout of selected image lines and the dumping of unwanted data. It also includes the use of graded thickness anti-reflection coating, giving the minimum possible reflection from the silicon surface for all wavelengths of interest.

Sentinel-3 will be used to study sea surface topography, sea/land surface temperature, ocean colour and land colour with a high level of accuracy providing the European Union and its member states with crucial data.  It will carry an advanced radar altimeter and a multi-channel optical imaging instrument.  The launch of the first Sentinel-3 satellite is planned for 2012.

Brian McAllister, General Manager of Space and Scientific Imaging at e2v said “e2v has a long history of providing imaging sensors for earth observation. We are proud to work with Thales Alenia Space to enable global monitoring and meet their demanding needs for this major European project.”


Jessica Broom           Tel: + 44 (0) 1 245 453 607


e2v technologies plc

e2v technologies is a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of specialised components and subsystems, falling within two product groups:

  • Electronic tubes
  • Sensors and Semiconductors

These products enable some of the world’s leading OEMs to deliver innovative systems for medical and science, aerospace and defence, and commercial and industrial applications.

For the year ended 31 March 2008, e2v achieved sales of £205m and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (e2v.l).  In July 2006 e2v technologies plc acquired a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of specialised electronic components and sub-systems, based in Grenoble, France and in May of 2007 e2v plc acquired MiCS Microchemical Systems SA a designer and manufacturer of semiconductor based gas sensors.  These acquisitions strengthen the Group’s position as a major global provider of specialised electronic components and subsystems.

e2v’s products are supplied into three core market areas:

  • Medical & Science: Sensor technology includes imaging sensors for intra-oral and panoramic dental X-ray, mammography, life science applications and X-ray microscopy. Electronic tubes are the enabling technology behind radiotherapy cancer treatments, microwave medical therapy and high-energy physics.
  • Aerospace & Defence: Sensor technology includes products for military surveillance, targeting and guidance, space-based imaging and astronomy, radar, electronic warfare, and broadband data converters and microprocessors for aerospace applications.  Electronic tubes provide the enabling technology behind radars, electronic countermeasures (ECM), electronic warfare and satellite communications.
  • Commercial & Industrial: Sensor technology includes marine radars, industrial safety sensors, automotive radars and alarms, thermal imaging cameras used by fire fighters, CCD and CMOS high resolution line scan cameras for industrial inspection. Electronic tubes provide enabling technology behind TV broadcast, satellite communications, marine radar and food & industrial processing.

The overall purpose of the business is to grow sustainable shareholder value whilst appropriately meeting the expectations of customers, people, partners, suppliers and the wider community.  e2v’s vision is to create value through bright ideas in technology and materials science. The Company’s mission is to place customers at the heart of the business, providing enabling products of premium quality that extend technical barriers and enhance the competitive position of our partners.

e2v has approximately 1,800 employees worldwide with three UK based manufacturing sites in Chelmsford, Lincoln and High Wycombe, one in Grenoble, France and one in Corcelles, Switzerland.  In addition e2v has sales offices in the UK, USA, Germany, France and Hong Kong, as well as a network of distributors and representatives covering other key territories.

Further information on e2v technologies plc is available from its website,