Marconi CCDs used for leading space missions

JULY 17-Charged-coupled devices (CCDs) from Marconi Applied Technologies (Chelmsford, England; www.marconitech.com) were launched into orbit on-board NASA's CONTOUR spacecraft on July 3, 2002.

Jul 17th, 2002

JULY 17-Charged-coupled devices (CCDs) from Marconi Applied Technologies (Chelmsford, England; www.marconitech.com) were launched into orbit on-board NASA's CONTOUR spacecraft on July 3, 2002. The CCDs support CONTOUR in its mission to monitor and image at least two comets on their approach to the Sun. Analysis of images and dust collected should reveal how the comets contributed to the forming of our solar system. Digital images will be captured by the company's high-sensitivity CCDs using ultraviolet light as the spacecraft approaches each comet. This will provide real-time detailed pictures of comets.

The Canadian Space Agency will also use Applied Technologies CCDs. Scheduled to launch within the next year, the twin CCDs on the MOST telescope are set to capture images of stars to help analyze their composition, behavior, and age.

Marconi is also supplying 16 CCDs to the European Space Agency for use in its environmental satellite, ENVISAT--launched into orbit earlier this year; it is now transmitting images of the Earth's environment, tracking oceanic and atmospheric changes as it travels. Using ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light, the high-performance CCDs observe and image the Earth's oceans and ozone layer. Using the information gathered, the implications of global warming and the diminishing ozone layer can be analyzed. The aftereffects of natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes, also can be monitored.

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