Earth observation satellite captures first images

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Pléiades 1B, the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Earth observation satellite, has captured its first images using e2v high-performance imaging sensors. Two types of e2v sensors (for panchromatic and multispectral imaging) are used as part of the satellite's high-resolution optical imaging instrument.

Pléiades 1B has been designed to provide dual use optical observation coverage with a 70cm resolution. It was launched into space from French Guiana in November 2012 and has accompanied its twin, Pléiades 1A, which was launched into space in December 2011.

The 200kg, high-resolution optical imaging instrument on board Pléiades is equipped with a panchromatic and multispectral focal plane. Five e2v CCD98-50 imaging sensors equip the panchromatic focal plane; the sensors have 6,000 pixels each (giving 30,000 pixels per line), are back-thinned to improve sensitivity and have time delay integration functionality to enable them to capture high-resolution images (70cm on-ground resolution).  

The multispectral focal plane is made up of five e2v AT71554 imaging sensors. These imaging sensors cover four spectral bands, made up of 1,500 pixels each, with each spectral band providing 7,500 pixels once installed in the focal plane.

Bertrand De Monte, marketing manager of high-performance imaging at e2v, said: 'We are very pleased to be continuing our successful relationship with CNES by supplying high-performance image sensors for Pléiades 1B. e2v has provided image sensors for a number of Earth observation satellites including the original Pléiades 1A and SPOT 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. We look forward to seeing yet more high-resolution images of the Earth.'

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