This is a charge coupled device (CCD) similar to those flown on the SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) satellite's Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope launched in 1995 to provide full-disk images of the Sun in the light of the EUV Helium II line. This is a 1024x1024 array, essentially a two-dimensional array of about one million tiny silicon diodes or "pixels." Those diodes convert light photons directly to electrical signals which are then processed digitally to produce images. Because of their enhanced sensitivity and ruggedness CCD's are the almost exclusive detector used for space imaging applications.
This example was manufactured by Scientific Imaging Technologies Inc. and donated by them to the Museum in 2000.
Gift of Scientific Imaging Technologies Inc.