Micron to Unveil 8-Megapixel Image Chip

Started May 18, 2006 | Discussions thread
Eric Fossum
Eric Fossum Senior Member • Posts: 1,508
Re: Something completely different

jeffkrol wrote:

In your opinion then, if lauched today what imaging chip would be
the primary RGB imager? And why? Granted space travel may color the
answer a bit if there is a major difference in stability ect in
such a hostile enviroment but I think it's a valid question and one
out of curiosity more than a CMOS/CCD debate.

Well, the Cassini mission camera has a filter wheel, like most space cameras, so there is no "RGB" imager except perhaps on Mars Rover or for diagnostic imaging applications.

So, forgetting the RGB part, CMOS wins from a low power point of view, and from a radiation-hardness point of view. However, there has been suprisingly little work on scientific CMOS image sensors so high, very linear dynamic range and low read noise sensors have not been systematically developed. Development cost is a large part of that.

A big part of the problem is one remaining CCD zealot at JPL who has been responsible for CCD sensors (not the technology itself) for a long time. He tends to emphasize the heritage of CCD sensors to project scientists ("if you really want to risk your instrument and mission on this CMOS image sensor stuff that has no real heritage, well....ok...."). Although the Europeans have been flying CMOS on many missions compared to the US.

I have not worked at JPL for nearly 10 years but I still have many friends there. Hey, there is an open house at JPL today!

-Eric

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