e2v image sensors capture image of spacecraft landing on Mars

JUNE 6, 2008--On 25 May 2008, CCD image sensors from e2v technologies (Chelmsford, UK) on-board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured an image of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

JUNE 6, 2008--On 25 May 2008, CCD image sensors from e2v technologies (Chelmsford, UK; www.e2v.com) on-board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured an image of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander suspended from its parachute as the lander successfully arrived on Mars. This is the first time that a spacecraft has captured an image of another spacecraft landing on a planetary body.

The MRO is currently on Mars gathering data on the planet's climate, composition, and surface features with images captured by the probe's high-resolution imaging science experiment (HiRISE) instrument. e2v CCD image sensors are incorporated into the HiRISE, and it is this instrument that captured the images of the Phoenix Mars Lander. HiRISE normally points downward, but the whole orbiter was tilted up to capture the image of the lander as it approached Mars.

The CCD sensors operate in the back-illumination mode to yield high quantum efficiency over the 400- to 900-nm wavelength range.

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