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Large IR Sensor Peers Deeper into Space

Photonics Spectra
May 2000
A 2048 x 2048-pixel infrared sensor developed by the Rockwell Science Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif., is on its way to the University of Hawaii's Institute of Astronomy in Manoa Valley, Oahu. The HgCdTe device, which is sensitive in the 0.9- to 2.5-µm range, was designed to image faint galaxies created shortly after the big bang.

The researchers fabricated the 4-cm-sq array with a low-noise mixed-signal complementary metal oxide semiconductor process developed by Rockwell's partner, Conexant Systems Inc. of Newport Beach, Calif., which made 99.98 percent of the pixels operational. The center plans to develop a 4096 x 4096-pixel version of the sensor.

GLOSSARY
astronomy
The scientific observation of celestial radiation that has reached the vicinity of Earth, and the interpretation of these observations to determine the characteristics of the extraterrestrial bodies and phenomena that have emitted the radiation.
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