Inflight performance characteristics, calibration, and utilization of the Galileo solid-state imaging camera

Kenneth P. Klaasen, Michael J.S. Belton, H. Herbert Breneman, Alfred S. McEwen, Merton E. Davies, Robert J. Sullivan, Clark R. Chapman, Gerhard Neukum, Catherine M. Heffernan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The solid-state imaging subsystem (SSI) on NASA's Galileo Jupiter orbiter spacecraft has already demonstrated its superior performance as a scientific imager by returning stunning pictures of several planetary bodies as well as detailed inflight calibration data during its cruise to Jupiter. The SSI inflight performance remains excellent; the instrument calibration is stable and accurate. Improved determinations of the SSI's absolute spectral radiometric response and scattered-light properties have been made. Evaluation of the camera's point spread function suggests that the focus setting may be slightly nonoptimum, but the spatial resolution in returned images is still very good. The shielding of the SSI's CCD detector against energetic particle radiation appears to be adequate for operation in Jupiter's intense radiation field. New camera modes, onboard editing and data compression capabilities, and an adaptive mission operations plan have been implemented for the Jupiter orbital mission phase in order to mitigate the effects of a spacecraft anomaly that limits the allowable data return rate from Jupiter. These new capabilities are expected to allow the accomplishment of a historic scientific investigation of the Jupiter system using the SSI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3001-3027
Number of pages27
JournalOptical Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997


  • Astronomy
  • Calibration
  • Charge-coupled-device camera
  • Digital imaging
  • Remote sensing
  • Space instrumentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering(all)


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