After travelling for more than 1.7 billion miles through space over the past five years, on 4 July 2016, e2v’s image sensor has accurately guided NASA’s Juno spacecraft to reach its destination, Jupiter, the gas giant. On reaching the planet, the spacecraft will enter a polar orbit to probe Jupiter’s atmosphere, temperature, clouds, magnetic and gravity fields and magnetosphere.
Flight proven and used in many other missions around the world, e2v’s TH7890 512 x 512 17 micron pixel front illuminated area array image sensor for star-tracker was provided by e2v’s manufacturing centre in Grenoble. It has been used to determine the orientation of the spacecraft by measuring its position relative to stars. This optical device was specifically designed to ensure very high pointing accuracy and stability over long periods and to survive the severe radiation surrounding the planet, as Juno flies closer to the gas giant than any other spacecraft ever before.
On the basis of data supplied by the star-tracker, which recognises the different star formations in its field of view, the Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) computers calculated precision manoeuvring of the spacecraft. This represented a key factor for the successful completion of the mission, since the spacecraft had only one chance to reach Jupiter.
Jean-Charles Terrien, Vice President of Space Imaging at e2v in Grenoble, said, “We are extremely proud that our image sensor specifically designed for high energy radiation environments contributed to NASA’s flagship Juno mission. By revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter, scientists will benefit from an enormous amount of data that ultimately will improve the understanding of the beginning of our solar system.”
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Notes to Editors: About e2v: Bringing life to technology, e2v partners with its customers to improve, save and protect people’s lives. e2v’s innovations lead developments in automation, healthcare, communications, safety, discovery and the environment.
e2v employs approximately 1750 people worldwide, has design and operational facilities across Europe, North America and Asia, and has a global network of sales and technical support offices. e2v has annual sales of GBP236M as at 31 March 2016 and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information visit www.e2v.com