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22 September 2009 10000 pixels wide CMOS frame imager for earth observation from a HALE UAV
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Abstract
MEDUSA is the lightweight high resolution camera, designed to be operated from a solar-powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flying at stratospheric altitudes. The instrument is a technology demonstrator within the Pegasus program and targets applications such as crisis management and cartography. A special wide swath CMOS imager has been developed by Cypress Semiconductor Cooperation Belgium to meet the specific sensor requirements of MEDUSA. The CMOS sensor has a stitched design comprising a panchromatic and color sensor on the same die. Each sensor consists of 10000*1200 square pixels (5.5μm size, novel 6T architecture) with micro-lenses. The exposure is performed by means of a high efficiency snapshot shutter. The sensor is able to operate at a rate of 30fps in full frame readout. Due to a novel pixel design, the sensor has low dark leakage of the memory elements (PSNL) and low parasitic light sensitivity (PLS). Still it maintains a relative high QE (Quantum efficiency) and a FF (fill factor) of over 65%. It features an MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) higher than 60% at Nyquist frequency in both X and Y directions The measured optical/electrical crosstalk (expressed as MTF) of this 5.5um pixel is state-of-the art. These properties makes it possible to acquire sharp images also in low-light conditions.
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B. Delauré, S. Livens, J. Everaerts, R. Kleihorst, Gert Schippers, Yannick De Wit, John Compiet, and Bartosz Banachowicz "10000 pixels wide CMOS frame imager for earth observation from a HALE UAV", Proc. SPIE 7474, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XIII, 74741D (22 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.830448; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.830448
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