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7 November 2008

e2v CCD imaging sensors equip Jules Verne ATV, the first unmanned spacecraft to be sent to the International Space Station

On 9th March 2008, e2v image sensors were launched into space on board the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Jules Verne spacecraft, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS).

e2v CCD47-20 image sensors were selected by EADS SODERN as part of the two key systems they delivered for the ATV; an SED16 star tracker, an optical device used for determining the orientation of the spacecraft by measuring its position relative to stars, and a Videometer, a system EADS SODERN developed which is the primary rendezvous and docking sensor for the spacecraft.

The Jules Verne ATV was carried into orbit from the launch site in French Guiana and hauled almost 7 tonnes of cargo to the Station 400 km above the Earth. The spacecraft is the most powerful automatic spaceship ever built, having been equipped with its own propulsion and high-precision navigation system, which automatically guided it into dock at the ISS. The ISS relies on frequent deliveries of equipment, spare parts, food, air and water for its permanent crew.  The unmanned ATV is essential in delivering supplies to it every 18 months or so and will then stay attached to the station, providing reboost and attitude control for up to six months.

Brian McAllister, Aerospace General Manager at e2v said “e2v has long relationships with SODERN, and ESA. We are pleased to deliver imaging sensors for the navigation and docking which directly enabled the successful delivery of supplies to the International Space Station.”



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:

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.

  • Electronic tubes
  • Sensors and Semiconductors

For the year ended 31 March 2007, e2v achieved sales of £174m 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,