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- April 14th, 2023 Posted in News

JUICE’s camera (JANUS) will image Jupiter’s clouds and geological features on the moons in high resolution.

Teledyne e2v, part of the Teledyne Imaging Group, delivered the CIS115 CMOS sensor (3Mp, 7µm pixel pitch) on JUICE’s optical camera JANUS. It will have a resolution up to 2.4 m on Ganymede and about 10 km at Jupiter. Teledyne e2v worked with the Open University to provide these CMOS devices to DLR in Germany. JUICE is ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, which will make detailed observations of the giant gas planet and its three large ocean-bearing moons – Ganymede, Callisto and Europa – with a suite of remote sensing, geophysical and in situ instruments. The mission will characterise these moons as both planetary objects and possible habitats, explore Jupiter’s complex environment in depth, and study the wider Jupiter system as an archetype for gas giants across the Universe.

JUICE launched on 14 April 2023 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana and is expected to reach Jupiter in 2031. In the interim 8 years, JUICE will be subject to the risks of radiation damage to its instruments and the threat of being pulled off-course by Jupiter’s gravitational force while having to survive extremely low-temperatures.

JANUS is just one of ten highly specialised instruments flying on JUICE that have been designed, tested and built to survive those risks. The sensor that Teledyne e2v supplied to JANUS, is a radiation hard CMOS imager which was tested in collaboration with the Open University. To ensure survivability, the sensor was put through a battery of tests which included electro-optical testing for very harsh radiation environment, mechanical shock and vibration, thermal cycling, extreme humidity, and an accelerated life test.

The CMOS image sensor for JANUS was designed for high reliability in a space environment whilst achieving high-quality performance and high sensitivity with unique back illumination technology. This has established a low-power platform for continued development of enhanced CMOS image sensors.

Daniel Waller, Vice-President and General Manager for Spacing Imaging at Teledyne e2v, said: “The launch of JUICE with the JANUS optical camera onboard marks a milestone in this important mission. This is our second CMOS sensor from our facility in Chelmsford to fly in space in recent months. This sensor will give us sight of both the icy moons and the environment of Jupiter, increasing our understanding of other planets in our solar system.  Since our team delivered the sensor for JANUS, R&D has continued at pace as we work towards other space missions.”