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  4. Electronic imaging

Electronic imaging

Electronic imaging research at The Open University (OU) is spearheaded by The Centre for Electronic Imaging (CEI), a research group of over 20 scientists and PhD students led by Professor Andrew Holland.

Its members have been, and are, involved in many international space missions including XMM-Newton, Chandra, Swift, GAIA, Chandrayaan-1 and 2, UKube-1, Euclid, AlSat-Nano, JUICE, Athena, SMILE and WFIRST. The CEI is dedicated to the research and development of advanced technologies for electronic image sensing and provides knowledge exchange and training between UK high-tech industry and academia. The CEI is a collaboration between the OU  and Teledyne e2v, a UK-based world-leading manufacturer of advanced imaging detectors for space, defence, industrial, medical and scientific sectors.

The work of the CEI is to perform basic and applied research into silicon imaging sensors (Charge Coupled Devices – CCDs and Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductors – CMOS).

Key themes

  • Modelling, including 3D device simulation, of new structures within imaging sensor technology;
  • Design of new imaging sensors, with contributions to the design work at Teledyne e2v;
  • Development of new test methodologies and new fundamental understanding of the physical processes at work within image sensors;
  • The study of space radiation damage on the sensors, and its impact on the scientific performance of instruments using the technology;

This fundamental research is applied by the group for many high-performance imaging instruments for applications including space (and ground-based) astronomy, planetary and solar system science, solar and terrestrial physics, Earth observation and ground-based synchrotron applications. To find out more visit the CEI website.

Projects

Celestial objects

The Euclid mission was proposed, as part of the European Space Agency (ESA) Cosmic Visions programme, to investigate the history of the dark universe. The CEI is working with a number of institutes, including European Space Agency and Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL), on the experimental characterization and simulation of the radiation effects to the detectors used in the Euclid VIS.

The JUpiter ICy moon Explorer (JUICE) is an L-class ESA funded mission, which is planned to launch in 2022 and will arrive at Jupiter in 2030. The CEI’s involvement includes characterization, test and calibration of the devices. In addition, the CEI will perform an extensive investigation into the effects of radiation damage to the detector by both test and modelling.

The CEI is involved in the mitigation of radiation damage effects to image sensors and has undertaken a number of radiation damage studies.

Impact of space science research

CEI research has led to the design of new technologies which can probe deeper into space, which has increased the competitiveness of its commercial collaborators and created jobs for scientists.

CEI researchers have developed an innovative miniaturised imaging and radiation damage experiment for the UK Space Agency’s diminutive spacecraft, UKube-1, the UK’s first national Cubesat.

CEI researchers apply their space instrumentation expertise to complex terrestrial applications.

Key academics

Publications

  • Fully Depleted Pinned Photodiode CMOS Image Sensor With Reverse Substrate Bias - Stefanov, Konstantin D.; Clarke, Andrew S. and Holland, Andrew D. (2017). Fully Depleted Pinned Photodiode CMOS Image Sensor With Reverse Substrate Bias. IEEE Electron Device Letters, 38(1) pp. 64–66. http://oro.open.ac.uk/48085/
  • In situ trap properties in CCDs: the donor level of the silicon divacancy - Hall, D.J.; Wood, D.; Murray, N.J.; Gow, J.P.D.; Chroneos, A. and Holland, A. (2017). In situ trap properties in CCDs: the donor level of the silicon divacancy. Journal of Instrumentation, 12, article no. P01025. http://oro.open.ac.uk/48406/
  • Electro-optic and radiation damage performance of the CIS115, an imaging sensor for the JANUS optical camera on-board JUICE - Soman, M. R.; Allanwood, E. A. H.; Holland, A. D.; Stefanov, K.; Pratlong, J.; Leese, M.; Gow, J. P. D. and Smith, D. R. (2016). Electro-optic and radiation damage performance of the CIS115, an imaging sensor for the JANUS optical camera on-board JUICE. In: Proc. SPIE, 9915, article no. 991515. http://oro.open.ac.uk/46867/
  • VIS: the visible imager for Euclid - Cropper, Mark; Pottinger, S.; Niemi, S.; Azzollini, R.; Denniston, J.; Szafraniec, M.; Awan, S.; Mellier, Y.; Berthe, M.; Martignac, J.; Cara, C.; Di Giorgio, A.-M.; Sciortino, A.; Bozzo, E.; Genolet, L.; Cole, R.; Philippon, A.; Hailey, M.; Hunt, T.; Swindells, I.; Holland, A.; Gow, J.; Murray, N.; Hall, D.; Skottfelt, J.; Amiaux, J.; Laureijs, R.; Racca, G.; Salvignol, J.-C.; Short, A.; Lorenzo Alvarez, J.; Kitching, T.; Hoekstra, H.; Massey, R. and Israel, H. (2016). VIS: the visible imager for Euclid. In: Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave (MacEwen, Howard A.; Fazio, Giovanni G.; Lystrup, Makenzie; Batalha, Natalie; Siegler, Nicholas and Tong, Edward C. eds.), Proc. SPIE 9904, 99040Q. http://oro.open.ac.uk/47003/
  • SMILE: a joint ESA/CAS mission to investigate the interaction between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere - Raab, Walfried; Branduardi-Raymont, Graziella; Dai, Lei; Wang, Chi; Donovan, Eric; Enno, Greg; Escoubet, Philippe; Holland, Andrew; Jing, Li; Kataria, Dhiren; Li, Lei; Read, Andy; Rebuffat, Denis; Romstedt, Jens; Runciman, Chris; Sembay, Steve; Spanswick, Emma; Sykes, Jon; Thornhill, Julian; Wielders, Arno; Zhang, Aibing and Zheng, Jianhua (2016). SMILE: a joint ESA/CAS mission to investigate the interaction between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere. In: Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, p. 990502. http://oro.open.ac.uk/46941/
  • Electron multiplication CCD detector technology advancement for the WFIRST-AFTA coronagraph - Harding, Leon K.; Demers, Richard T.; Hoenk, Michael; Peddada, Pavani; Nemati, Bijan; Cherng, Michael; Michaels, Darren; Loc, Anthony; Bush, Nathan; Hall, David; Murray, Neil; Gow, Jason; Burgon, Ross; Holland, Andrew; Reinheimer, Alice; Jorden, Paul R. and Jordan, Douglas (2015). Electron multiplication CCD detector technology advancement for the WFIRST-AFTA coronagraph. In: Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VII (Shaklan, Stuart ed.), Proceedings of SPIE, SPIE Press, article no. 96050F. http://oro.open.ac.uk/45137/
  • The Gaia mission - Collaboration, Gaia (2016). The Gaia mission. Astronomy & Astrophysics (early access). http://oro.open.ac.uk/47395/