Gaia CCD Contract Signed
13 June 2005Last Friday, 9 June, David Southwood, ESA director of Science, signed a contract with UK based firm e2v Technologies for the development of CCD camera sensors for Gaia. The firm will be responsible for the production of a 1.5 giga-pixel camera capable of deriving high precision astrometric information for a billion stars.
A report in the New Scientist outlined the reasons for selecting e2v over other chip manufacturers. The company has successfully developed a detector capable of working from 300 to 900 nm with very low noise.
Traditionally CCD detectors have struggled to retain low noise levels at the short wavelength (UV) end of the spectrum. e2v, however, have overcome this problem by literally shaving away over 95% of the silicon substrate, which is responsible for absorbing radiation at key UV wavelengths.