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7 March 2011

South Korea’s first weather communications satellite takes excellent images with CMOS imaging sensors, assembled and qualified by e2v

In their first 6 months of operation the CMOS imaging sensors (CIS), assembled and qualified for space applications by e2v, have returned excellent images onboard the Communications, Oceanography and Meteorology Satellite (COMS-1), South Korea’s first weather communications satellite, manufactured by Astrium.

The satellite was launched into space in June 2010, having been jointly developed by the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and Astrium in France. It is placed in geostationary orbit 36,000 km from Earth carrying three payloads dedicated to meteorology applications, ocean observation and telecommunications. CMOS imaging sensors equip the Geostationary Ocean Colour Instrument (GOCI) from Astrium, which is a multi-spectrum camera that gathers high quality ocean meteorological data including typhoons and dust movement.

The 2 Mega pixel COBRA 2M CMOS image sensors were developed by Astrium and the circuit designed by ISAE-CIMI (Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace). e2v utilised its space-dedicated manufacturing capabilities to package, space qualify and deliver “flight model“ sensors. The imaging arrays will provide multi-spectral data to detect, monitor, quantify and predict short-term changes on the coastal ocean environment around Korea, for marine science research and applications purposes. The sensors are amongst the first CMOS sensors in an operational mission in geostationary orbit.

For this project e2v demonstrated its expertise in manufacturing space imaging sensors, including:
• Handling of CMOS wafers
• Sensor assembly following space standard processes and space quality levels
• Space qualification and detector screening

Michel Tulet, Head of the electro-optics & microwaves detection department at EADS Astrium, France said “Key to the success in developing this new generation imaging sensor for such a high performance instrument has been the collaboration between the three partners. Each demonstrates excellence in their specific field of expertise within the space imaging domain; Astrium in imaging sensor architecture, performances characterisation and modelling, ISAE in CMOS sensor leading edge technologies and sophisticated designs, and e2v in back-end processing and management of the space qualification process”.

e2v’s Marketing and Applications Manager, Jon Kemp said, “The impressive images from this instrument demonstrate that e2v is a strong partner for Earth observation applications and has the expertise to supply CMOS image sensors into a range of high performance applications.”

GOCI L1A Mosaic Image
Courtesy of the Korea Ocean Satellite Center

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



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 1600 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