Teledyne e2v has reached a critical milestone in the ESA PLATO mission for the supply of custom image sensors
(7 May 2019 - Teledyne e2v) Teledyne e2v is pleased to announce the completion of the first delivery milestone for the supply of their CCD Bruyères image sensors to be used in the European Space Agency’s PLATO Mission.
Earlier this year, the acceptance event was marked with a signing by the delivery review board at Teledyne e2v in Chelmsford, UK. The acceptance of the first flight model is significant, as with the first sensors meeting the requirements for flight, it allows Teledyne e2v to move forward with production of the devices and to complete the deliveries of a total of 112 flight grade sensors. The projected completion date for this €42 M contract for custom sensors is due through 2021.
Charge Coupled Device renamed as CCD Bruyéres for PLATO Exoplanet Space Telescope (courtesy: Teledyne e2v)
PLATO will consist of 26 telescopes mounted on a single satellite platform. Each telescope will contain four 20 Mpixel Teledyne e2v CCDs in both full-frame and frame-transfer variants, for a full satellite total of 2.12 Gpixels. This is over twice the equivalent number for Gaia, the largest camera currently in space. As with Gaia, all of the PLATO CCD image sensors will be designed and produced in Chelmsford, UK.
The CCD Bruyères (named after Teledyne e2v’s Jean-Francois Bruyères) is a 4510 x 4510 18µm pixel custom image sensor that will be used to study a large number of extrasolar planetary systems, with an emphasis on the properties of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone around solar-like stars. The CCD Bruyères sensors will enable PLATO to observe the dimming of a stars light when a planet passes in front of it. The planned launch of PLATO is in 2026 and it will complete a 4 ½ year mission (potentially extendable by another 4 years).
Filippo Marliani, PLATO Project Manager at ESA, said: “This milestone establishes the first delivery of flight grade hardware of the whole PLATO project. It is a fundamental step for the progression of the complex integration and testing of the large number of telescopes in the satellite.”
David J Morris, Principal Project Manager at Teledyne e2v, said: “Teledyne e2v are proud to be involved in this mission to identify earth-like exoplanets, to further our knowledge on how planets and stars form and the emergence of life in the universe in which we live.”
About Teledyne e2v
Teledyne e2v’s innovations lead developments in healthcare, life sciences, space, transportation, defense and security, and industrial markets.
Teledyne e2v’s unique approach involves listening to the market and application challenges of customers and partnering with them to provide innovative standard, semi-custom or fully-custom imaging solutions, bringing increased value to their systems.
In combination with its sister companies, Teledyne DALSA and Teledyne Imaging Sensors, three imaging powerhouses, together represent a new paradigm in the delivery of innovative imaging solutions built on unrivalled expertise and a deep technological heritage that includes capabilities across the spectrum, from infrared to x-ray imaging.