e2v technologies wins image-sensor contract

JULY 12--e2v technologies, a developer and manufacturer of high-technology components and subsystems, has been awarded a £4.0 m (€5.6 m) flight phase contract to supply the ESA (European Space Agency) with CCD (charge-coupled device) image sensors for the primary scientific instrument on the astronomical satellite, Gaia.

JULY 12--e2v technologies, a developer and manufacturer of high-technology components and subsystems, has been awarded a £4.0 m (€5.6 m) flight phase contract to supply the ESA (European Space Agency) with CCD (charge-coupled device) image sensors for the primary scientific instrument on the astronomical satellite, Gaia. This contract win follows the earlier contracts worth a total of £10.9 m (€16.3 m). This latest contract, due for delivery in July 2007 and awarded by EADS Astrium, which, on 11 May 2006, was officially awarded the contract by the ESA to develop and build the Gaia satellite, represents a take up of a part of the identified further option to purchase additional flight grade sensors. There remain options to supply up to a further £3.4 m (€5 m) of flight grade sensors for this program.

Scheduled for launch in 2011, Gaia aims to map our galaxy, the Milky Way, by logging the 1 billion stars and more than 100,000 objects in our solar system, creating the largest, most accurate 3-D map of the galaxy to date. The sky will be continually scanned for at least five years. It is anticipated that as many as 10,000 planets around other stars may be discovered. Destined for Gaia's Astro Filter instrument, the new CCDs will form part of Gaia's 1000 million-pixel focal plane, which will be the largest focal plane ever flown in space, measuring in at half a square meter in size.

e2v technologies delivers the radio frequency and sensing technology that enables some of the world's most innovative medical and science, aerospace and defence, and industrial and commercial systems. For the year ended 31 March 2006, e2v achieved sales of £112 m.

Further information on e2v technologies plc is available from its Web site, www.e2v.com.

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