Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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April 7, 2021
Teledyne e2v confirms VNIR-SWIR detector supply contract for CHIME Copernicus mission

UK-based Teledyne e2v’s Space Imaging group signs contract with aerospace, defence and security company Leonardo to supply a specialized image sensor for the Hyperspectral Imager HSI on-board the Copernicus Hyperspectral Imaging Mission for the Environment (CHIME).

Chelmsford, UKTeledyne e2v, a part of the Teledyne Imaging Group, and a Teledyne Technologies [NYSE:TDY] company, will supply image sensors and detectors to the recently announced grouped proposal of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) industrial policy committee to place six Copernicus Sentinel satellite missions in space.

In particular, Teledyne will be supplying Leonardo with a space grade VNIR-SWIR detector unit for the CHIME instrument. Thales Alenia Space will serve as prime contractor and integrator for the CHIME program with OHB and Leonardo as main partners for the payload.

The detector unit provided by Teledyne will comprise a Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) processed Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) 3k x 512-pixel detector with optimised coating exhibiting high quantum efficiency and low dark current. The MCT detector will be matched with a Read Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC). 

The Copernicus Hyperspectral Imaging Mission, CHIME, a unique visible to shortwave infrared spectrometer will provide routine hyperspectral observations to support new and enhanced services for sustainable agricultural and biodiversity management, and soil property characterisation. The mission will complement Copernicus Sentinel-2, which also features a Teledyne Imaging visible sensor, for applications such as land-cover mapping.

Teledyne e2v will also supply variants of their Capella CMOS visible image sensor for the Copernicus Expansion CO2 Monitoring Mission.

Miles Adcock, President Space & Quantum at Teledyne e2v commented, “This announcement follows as further good news, on recent infrared and visible detector contracts, building on our investment in our UK-based fab, design and manufacturing teams, which are critical to the support of important missions emanating from the European and UK market.”

The CHIME mission is part of the expansion of the Copernicus Space Component programme of ESA, in partnership with the European Commission. The European Copernicus flagship programme provides Earth observation and in situ data and a broad range of services for environmental monitoring and protection, climate monitoring, natural disaster assessment to improve the quality of life of European citizens.

CHIME’s imaging spectrometer will allow monitoring of the Earth’s land surfaces and coastal/inland water bodies with contiguous spectral channels covering the spectral range from the VIS to the SWIR.

As for the CO2 Monitoring Mission, the measurements will reduce uncertainties in estimates of carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel at national and regional levels, providing the EU with a unique and independent source to assess the effectiveness of policy measures, and to track their impact toward decarbonising Europe and meeting national emission reduction targets.

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