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Radiation hard CMOS sensor for satellite instrument


SI Sensors is developing a custom silicon image sensor for an Asian government agency meteorological satellite instrument, which is planned to enter geostationary orbit.

The satellite will house multiple radiation hard imaging payloads, enabling high precision space environment monitoring and early weather warning services from an altitude of 36,000km above the Earth’s surface.

Philip Brown, General Manager of SI Sensors said “We were delighted to be selected to deliver the high-performance image sensor that will lie at the heart of the planned groundbreaking satellite payload. With detection optimised for near infrared wavelengths, our 4-megapixel CMOS image sensor is being designed to operate at a high frame rate (>300FPS) over a wide dynamic range. Our ultra-low power consumption custom image sensor includes anti-blooming and global shatter operation with correlated double sampling to deliver low read noise. Its radiation hard design and planned qualification will enable a planned satellite operational lifetime of 7 years”.

Mr Brown concluded “In addition to the silicon image sensor design, we have developed a package concept which houses the image sensor chip and meets the satellite’s challenging electrical, optical, mechanical and thermal interface requirements whilst withstanding the stringent environmental testing required for space qualification and flight. This package design includes >330 electrical connections (PGA) and a hermetically sealed Sapphire window with coatings optimised to minimise reflections for the spectral range of interest”.

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