Friday, October 22, 2021
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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 ([email protected]gmail.com) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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