Planetary exploration with optical imaging systems review: What is the best sensor for future missions

H. Michaelis, T. Behnke, R. Bredthauer, A. Holland, J. Janesick, R. Jaumann, H. U. Keller, D. Magrin, D. Greggio, Stefano Mottola, N. Thomas, P. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


When we talk about planetary exploration missions most people think spontaneously about fascinating images from other planets or close-up pictures of small planetary bodies such as asteroids and comets. Such images come in most cases from VIS/NIR- imaging- systems, simply called 'cameras', which were typically built by institutes in collaboration with industry. Until now, they have nearly all been based on silicon CCD sensors, they have filter wheels and have often high power-consuming electronics. The question is, what are the challenges for future missions and what can be done to improve performance and scientific output. The exploration of Mars is ongoing. NASA and ESA are planning future missions to the outer planets like to the icy Jovian moons. Exploration of asteroids and comets are in focus of several recent and future missions. Furthermore, the detection and characterization of exo-planets will keep us busy for next generations. The paper is discussing the challenges and visions of imaging sensors for future planetary exploration missions. The focus of the talk is monolithic VIS/NIR- detectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Space Optics, ICSO 2014
EditorsZoran Sodnik, Bruno Cugny, Nikos Karafolas
ISBN (Electronic)9781510616158
StatePublished - Nov 14 2017
EventInternational Conference on Space Optics, ICSO 2014 - La Caleta, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Duration: Oct 7 2014Oct 10 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherInternational Conference on Space Optics, ICSO 2014
CityLa Caleta, Tenerife, Canary Islands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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