Our space industry
the Indian Space
Organization, Canadian Space Agency and Surrey Satellite
(SSTL) . Servo products are proven components with many
years of flight heritage.
Over the years the majority of Earth sensors built for satellite attitude determination use thermistor
bolometers as their eyes. Servo is the only supplier of these devices and we have been supplying them
to this community for over 35 years.
In the 1980s Servo developed a pyroelectric detector made of
Lithium Tantalate (LTO), specifically designed for space flight.
It was qualified for use on the T-SCANWHEEL built by Ithaco
for the TOMS program. This technology formed the basis for
the pyroelectric array built by Servo and used on the MiDES
Earth Sensor Assembly. Later a Radiation-Hard Pyroelectric
Optical Barrel Assembly was also developed for the Boeing
Corporation (Hughes Aircraft), and is currently used on their
Pyroelectric detectors, made of Lithium Tantalate, are not only
less expensive to build but they are much more sensitive devices than either the traditional bolometers
or thermopiles. The performance advantage of this material lies in its large pyroelectric current output
and high temperature stability. In addition it the material is easily photo lithographically patterned to
form detector arrays in easily-changeable configurations.
Servo continued the development of LTO devices by combining the detector technology with our
systems engineering capabilities to produce a variety of detector based products that contain integral
electronics. Multiple detector arrays that are hybridized are the heart of the Servo Earth Sensor product
line and enables unprecedented accuracies to be achieved in an Earth sensor. One unique feature of this
type of detector is that there is a constant voltage difference between a reference and the target, either
Earth or space. This characteristic results in the elimination of thermal calibration tables or the use of
heaters to stabilize the unit temperature. It enhances the overall accuracy and maintains it over the full
operating temperature range.
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