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There’s a very useful button on your smart phone camera, called HDR, which when pressed allows the camera to photograph high-contract scenarios by taking different images at different exposures and blending them together to get one image at the perfect contrast.
Now, thanks to a Technology Development Element activity with Caeleste in Belgium, LFoundry in Italy and Airbus in France, an imaging sensor, called ELFIS, has been developed to introduce this technology to space.
The image sensor together with the optics are the key elements of a remote sensing instrument. Currently, if you take an image that is high in noise or low in resolution to try and adjust the contract of the picture, you lose a lot of the quality.
ELFIS prevents this by using HDR technology along with several other technologies such as a global shutter which integrates the different images as they’re being taken and processes the high-gain and low-gain images in under 30ms.
The sensor is designed to be radiation hardened but still needs to undergo radiation testing.
Contract 4000116089 “European Low Flux Image Sensor” closed in 2019.