On Thursday 6th October, e2v was joined by representatives from the European Space Agency (ESA), Astrium SAS (the prime contractor for Gaia), key suppliers and local dignitaries for a celebration at their headquarters in Chelmsford, UK, to mark the successful delivery of over 150 e2v imaging sensors for Gaia, an ESA mission to record over one billion stars.
An audience of over 200 (including local dignitaries) listened to presentations given by the e2v team who had worked on the Gaia project and by Giuseppe Sarri, Gaia Project Manager from ESA and Philippe Charvet, Gaia Payload Manager from Astrium SAS, who both travelled to the event especially to thank the e2v team.
Guiuseppe Sarri from ESA said “The imaging sensors provided by e2v are impressive in size and number and excellent in quality. We are most impressed by the outstanding performance shown by e2v during this very challenging production.”
e2v Marketing and Applications Manager, Jon Kemp said, “The e2v team who designed, made and qualified the imaging sensors that will make this cornerstone programme possible are delighted to be celebrating such a significant achievement with our customers and local dignitaries. We have delivered the sensors for an almost 1 billion pixel camera that will be the biggest in space and are looking forward to seeing astounding scientific discoveries enabled by the e2v team.”
Over 150 e2v high performance imaging sensors have been delivered for Gaia. These were integrated by Astrium, to form the very impressive focal plane array ahead of the proposed 2013 launch. These imaging sensors will make it possible to record over one billion stars for an extraordinary 3-D map of the galaxy.
Left to right; François Thouret e2v, Philippe Charvet Astrium, Jon Kemp e2v, Anouk Laborie Astrium, Giuseppe Sarri ESA, Jean-François Bruyères e2v, Philippe Gare ESA, Roy Steward e2v, David Morris e2v, John Turton e2v, Tim Eaton e2v.
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NOTES FOR EDITORS
e2v is a leading global provider of specialist technology for high performance systems and equipment; delivering solutions, sub-systems and components for specialist applications within medical & science, aerospace & defence, and commercial & industrial markets.
e2v is headquartered in the UK, employs approximately 1500 people, has design and production facilities across Europe and North America, and has a global network of sales and technical support offices. For the year ended 31 March 2011, e2v reported sales of £229m and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information visit e2v.com.
Due to launch in 2013, Gaia’s goal is to map the positions, parallaxes and proper motions (movement across the sky) of around 1 billion objects in our galaxy, the Milky Way, and beyond to an unprecedented accuracy.
Photometric data will be taken to determine the composition of the objects. For the brightest objects, about 150 millions, radial velocities (movement towards and away from the satellite) will be measured. The result of this will be the most detailed map and dynamic behaviour of the Milky Way ever produced which will improve our understanding of our galaxy immensely.