The planet Mercury, by its near proximity to the sun, has always posed a formidable challenge to spacecraft. The Bepi-Colombo mission, coordinated by the European Space Agency, will be a pioneering effort in the investigation of this planet. Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) has been given the opportunity to develop the radiation hardened, high operability, high SNR, advanced staring focal plane array (FPA) for the spacecraft destined (Fig. 1) to explore the planet Mercury. This mission will launch in 2013 on a
journey lasting approximately 6 years. When it arrives at Mercury in August 2019, it will endure temperatures as high as 350°C as well as relatively high radiation environments during its 1 year data collection period from September 2019 until September 2020. To
support this challenging goal, RVS has designed and produced a custom visible sensor based on a 2048 x 2048 (2k2) format with a 10 μm unit cell. This sensor will support both the High Resolution Imaging Camera (HRIC) and the Stereo Camera (STC) instruments. This dual purpose sensor was designed to achieve high sensitivity as well as low input noise (<100 e-) for space-based, low light conditions. It also must maintain performance
parameters in a total ionizing dose environment up to 70 kRad (Si) as well as immunity to latch-up and singe event upset. This paper will show full sensor chip assembly data highlighting the performance parameters prior to irradiation. Radiation testing
performance will be reported by an independent source in a subsequent paper.