A high-resolution CCD image sensor produced by Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK) will serve as the "eye" of an instrument called JunoCam, which is part of the Juno spacecraft that is being launched this week on a five-year trip to the planet Jupiter. JunoCam will provide full color images of Jupiter as Juno orbits the planet.
Juno will investigate Jupiter's origins, interior structure, deep atmosphere, and magnetosphere from a highly elliptical 11-day polar orbit that will come as close as 5000 km to the planet’s cloud tops; after 33 orbits, Juno will be de-orbited and will burn up in Jupiter's atmosphere.
"JunoCam is the eleventh time we have selected a Kodak CCD for a spaceflight imaging system," said Michael Ravine, advanced projects manager at Malin Space Science Systems. "Being able to draw from the many options available in Kodak's commercial image sensor line has allowed us to tune the performance of each camera to each mission's specific needs. And our previous cameras that use Kodak sensors have logged more than ten years of deep space operations, clearly demonstrating their reliability for space applications."
The camera will capture images for at least seven orbits, and then continue operation as long as possible in Jupiter’s intense radiation environment. With its 1600 x 1200 pixel array, the KAI-2020 image sensor will enable JunoCam to capture images of Jupiter’s cloud tops at a maximum resolution of 3 km per pixel.
In addition, Malin Space Science Systems chose the same Kodak image sensor for use in four separate camera systems on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity, including the MastCam, which is the science imaging "workhorse" of the rover. The MSL is scheduled to launch late this year and land on Mars in August, 2012.
-- Written by John Wallace, Laser Focus World
-- Posted by Vision Systems Design