SINGAPORE - Canon announced the deployment of its ultra-large-scale, ultra-high-sensitivity CMOS sensor. The sensor enables video recording across a wide 3.3ox 3.3o field of view of meteors with an equivalent apparent magnitude of 10. Currently installed in the Schmidt telescope at the University of Tokyo’s Kiso Observatory, Institute of Astronomy, School of Science (Kiso-gun, Nagano prefecture), the sensor is among the largest that can be produced from an approximately 300-mm (12-inch) wafer.
Developed just last year by Canon, the 202 x 205 mm sensor, which is approximately 40 times the size of Canon’s largest commercial CMOS sensor, makes video recording possible in dark conditions with as low as 0.3 lux of illumination. This results in successful video recording of faint meteors with an equivalent apparent magnitude of 10 across a wide 3.3o x 3.3o field of view.
The detection of faint meteors with apparent magnitudes greater than 7 has proven difficult using conventional observation technologies. Sightings of meteors with an equivalent apparent magnitude of 10 are limited to only 10 per year. However, combined with the Schmidt telescope, video recorded using the ultra-large-scale, ultra-high-sensitivity CMOS sensor enables observation across a wide field of view, yielding a one-minute segment during which more meteors with an equivalent apparent magnitude of 10 were detected as compared to previous yearly records.
Additionally, because the combination of the CMOS sensor and Schmidt telescope facilitates efficient investigation of objects traveling at high speeds across the sky, the detection of an increased number of celestial phenomena in addition to meteors, such as space debris and heavenly bodies moving in the solar system, has been made possible. The technology is accordingly expected to contribute to improved accuracy in determining the position and speed of such objects.