Date Announced: 16 Feb 2011
High-performance imaging sensors launched into space on board the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Johannes Kepler spacecraft.
e2v CCD47-20 Charge Coupled Device (CCD) imaging sensors were selected by SODERN as part of the two key systems they delivered for the ATV; an SED16 star tracker, an optical device used for determining the orientation of the spacecraft by measuring its position relative to stars, and a Videometer, a system SODERN developed which is the primary rendezvous and docking sensor for the spacecraft. The first ATV, Jules Verne was also equipped with these e2v imaging sensors and successfully completed its mission in 2008.
The Johannes Kepler ATV was carried into orbit onboard an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana and hauled almost 7.1 tonnes of cargo (the heaviest load ever lofted into space by the rocket) to the Station 360 km above the Earth. The spacecraft is the most powerful automatic spaceship ever built and is equipped with its own propulsion and a high-precision navigation system, which uses e2v imaging sensors to automatically guide it into dock at the ISS. The ISS relies on frequent deliveries of equipment, spare parts, food, air and water for its permanent crew.
The unmanned ATV is essential in delivering supplies to it and will stay attached to the station, providing reboost and attitude control for three and a half months. It will then be undocked and commanded to burn up in the atmosphere over an uninhabited area of the southern Pacific Ocean.
e2v’s Marketing and Applications Manager, Jon Kemp said, “e2v are proud to have delivered a key component enabling the Sodern videometer to automatically dock the Johannes Kepler ATV and also supply space proven imaging sensors for the ATV’s guidance system.”
Web Site: www.e2v.com