Monday, December 4, 2023

European Space Agency: Billion pixel Gaia camera starts to take shape

Message from the European Space Agency (ESA):

“Another milestone in the development of Gaia, ESA’s ultra-sensitive space astrometry mission, was passed on 1 June when the 106 electronic detectors of its billion pixel camera were assembled like a large mosaic for the first time.

Technicians carefully bolting and aligning each of the CCDs onto the support structure. Credit: Astrium
“During its ambitious mission to map one thousand million stars, the spinning Gaia spacecraft will monitor each of these pinpoints of light up to 70 times over a five year period. In order to detect distant stars about one million times fainter than the eye can see, Gaia will carry 106 charge coupled devices (CCDs), each of which is, effectively, a miniature camera.

The complete Gaia CCD mosaic.
Credit: Astrium
“The contract to provide the Gaia CCDs was awarded to e2v Technologies of Chelmsford, UK, in summer 2005, and their production kept the company busy for more than 5 years. With an overall total of about a thousand million pixels, Gaia’s focal plane is the largest digital camera ever built for a space mission.

“Technicians from the mission’s prime contractor, Astrium France, have been carefully bolting and aligning each of the CCDs onto the support structure at the company’s facility in Toulouse…”  read more here.
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

Related Articles

Latest Articles