Teledyne e2v Delivers Image Sensors for ESA’s Air Quality & Climate Monitoring Mission

Posted Mar 14, 2019 by Teledyne e2v

Teledyne e2v has now delivered all 12 flight-deliverables consisting of three variants of its CCD314 image sensors for the Sentinel-5/UVNS instrument to be launched onboard the Second Generation MetOp (MetOp-SG) satellites. A collaborative program between the ESA (European Space Agency) and EUMETSAT, the MetOp-SG programme comprises three flight sets of two low earth polar-orbiting satellites with complimentary payloads, MetOpSG-A and MetOpSG-B. Airbus Defence and Space is responsible for the MetOp-SG spacecraft and system.

The Sentinel-5/UVNS instrument onboard MetopSG-A is focused on global monitoring of key air quality trace gases and aerosols as a part of the Copernicus program. It will also contribute to operational meteorological observations from polar orbit and thus increase Europe’s capability for long-term climate monitoring.

Teledyne e2v’s custom CCD image sensors are optimized for different wavelengths and built around the company’s proprietary enhanced quantum efficiency backside thinning process. The image sensors include a graded anti-reflective coating unique to Teledyne e2v, and will sit at the heart of the Sentinel-5/UVNS instrument, a high-resolution spectrometer operating in the ultraviolet to near-infrared range.

In addition, the custom image detectors feature:

  • Split-frame transfer modes
  • Radiation-hardened process
  • Very high dynamic range

According to Dr. Didier Martin, Sentinel-5 Project Manager at the ESA, these CCDs are the first flight items to be integrated at the heart of the Sentinel-5 instrument. With their outstanding performances, they are confident the sensors will meet the mission’s goals of monitoring air quality and supporting climate modelling by measuring atmospheric trace gases such as Ozone, Nitrogen dioxide, Sulphuric dioxide and many others, on a daily basis with unprecedented accuracy and resolution.

According to Robert Greinacher, Sentinel 5 Project Manager at Airbus Space Systems concluded, Sentinel-5 is one of the most important instruments on board the MetOp-SG spacecraft, providing precise weather and environmental monitoring for the sake of European citizens. The on-time delivery of the sensors by Teledyne e2v, together with their demonstrated performance, confirms the supplier selection by Airbus for this key technology on which Sentinel-5 is based. Further, these sensors are one key contributor to achieve an overall outstanding instrument performance.