When the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was launched on its mission to reach the Bennu asteroid, it went with three high-resolution image detectors that will serve as “retinas” for its mission to explore the asteroid. The CCD retinas are the result of a collaborative development between Teledyne DALSA, a Teledyne Technologies company, and the University of Arizona.
Designed, constructed and tested over the last four years, the image sensors aboard the OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite, or OCAMS, will behave in a manner similar to human eyes, from spotting the target asteroid from more than a million miles away to monitoring the sampling process just 10 feet from the surface of the asteroid. Space-qualified and radiation-hardened, the CCD detectors feature low dark signal with a low read out noise, and power. The three cameras that comprise the OCAMS are:
–PolyCam, which will collect telescopic images during the approach to Bennu and high resolution images once in formation;
–MapCam, which will collect color imagery and search for satellites around the asteroid;
–SamCam, which will deliver context imagery during the Touch-and-Go sample collection.
The spacecraft will reach Bennu in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023.
“Our mission tries to attempt a lot of things at the same time,” OCAMS instrument scientist Bashar Rizk said. “Navigation, mapping, reconnaissance, sample site selection, sampling — we do it on the same trip, so we need to understand what is going on at the asteroid at all times, so we can make decisions in real time when we’re there. The most important goal of these cameras is to maximize the chances of successfully bringing back a sample.”
Two other Teledyne subsidiaries have contributed to the mission, including Teledyne Optech, with their design of the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) which will scan Bennu’s surface and create a high-resolution 3D map of the entire asteroid, and Teledyne Scientific and Imaging, which provided a visible-infrared detector to the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) that will produce spectral maps of the asteroid’s surface that determine the mineral and organic content of Bennu.
Teledyne DALSA Inc.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense, Design World articles, Vision • machine vision • cameras + lenses • frame grabbers • optical filters