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OU research to design space imaging sensors to withstand radiation

Researchers in the OU’s Centre for Electronic Imaging (CEI) are involved in a joint project with e2v Technologies to develop space imaging sensors that can better withstand radiation and thus take clearer images and work longer.

The £320,000 project (of which OU’s part is worth £50,000) is funded by the UK Space Agency under the NSTP3 Fast Track scheme. It will use Time Delay Integration (TDI) for Earth observation and will eventually lead to an all-digital, fully integrated TDI imager offering numerous advantages over existing technologies.

Lead OU academic on the project, Dr Konstantin Stefanov, Senior Research Fellow at CEI said: “With this development we aim to create highly integrated, low power, radiation hard sensors suitable for the next generation of smaller and lighter Earth monitoring satellites.”

The OU’s role is to perform electro-optical characterisation of the new sensor and to investigate its radiation hardness. The sensor will be designed and packaged at e2v, and the CEI will produce a custom sensor board, build the test setup and write the software for data acquisition (DAQ). Full device characterisation will be performed at the CEI before and after irradiation from a gamma ray source to evaluate the electro-optical performance of the sensor and its suitability for use in the radiation environment of space.

The project began in February 2017 and should be completed by February 2018.

Find out more about the OU’s Centre for Electronic Imaging

Find out more about the OU’s research in Space Science

Read more about e2V Technologies

Dr Konstantin Stefanov

Senior Research Fellow

School of Physical Sciences

Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Professional biography