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Imaging Sensors Launched for the International Space Station

Imaging sensors from e2v were recently launched into space aboard the Johannes Kepler spacecraft of the European Space Agency's. This was the second Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) targeted for the International Space Station.

The CCD47-20 Charge Coupled Device (CCD) sensors were picked by SODERN for an SED16 star tracker, which is an optical device, to determine the orientation of the spacecraft. This is done by measuring its position in relation to the stars. It was also meant to serve a Videometer, which is the key meeting and docking sensor for the spacecraft.

The ATV was carried on an Ariane 5 rocket that left French Guiana and hauled about 7.1 tons of cargo meant for the Station 360 km above the Earth. The automatic spaceship has propulsion and navigation system using imaging sensors to steer it into the dock. The station needs such trips to deliver food, tools, spare parts and medication for its permanent team of scientists who live there. The ATV will be connected to the station giving attitude control for three and a half months. It will then be demolished over an unpopulated section of the Pacific Ocean.

Source: http://www.e2v.com/

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