Teledyne e2v to provide sensors for ESA’s Fluorescence Explorer mission


Global imaging solutions provider Teledyne e2v has secured a contract from Germany’s OHB System to supply customised charge coupled device (CCD) image sensors for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) satellite mission.

As part of the new deal, Teledyne e2v will design, develop and qualify the high-performance CCDs and their customised package for integration into the FLEX instrument, which is currently being developed by a joint collaboration of Italy’s Leonardo Florence and OHB System.

The Teledyne e2v CCDs will feature a custom frame transfer design and comply with the specific requirements of the Fluorescence Imaging Spectrometer (FLORIS) instrument, which will be installed as a payload on FLEX.

“Teledyne e2v already provides enabling technology for ESA’s visible Sentinel missions, including Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3, which are delivering astonishing images.”

The CCDs also feature large rectangular pixels, high-quantum efficiency performance, reduced noise and can run at fast transfer speeds.

The custom package for the CCDs will be designed to match with their thermal properties to comply with thermomechanical requirements.

It will also include two flexible cables for electrical connection and precision alignment of the sensors in the FLORIS focal plane array.

Teledyne e2v business development vice-president Giuseppe Borghi said: “Teledyne e2v already provides enabling technology for ESA’s visible Sentinel missions, including Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3, which are delivering astonishing images.”

The FLEX mission is due to be launched by 2022 and expected to provide a monthly global map with a 300m² on-ground spatial resolution.

When launched, the mission will also help scientists better understand the movement of carbon between plants and the atmosphere, and how photosynthesis affects carbon and water cycles.

It is also expected to offer improved insight on plant health and stress.


Image: Rendering of FLEX in space. Photo: courtesy of Teledyne e2v (UK).