NDT.net October 2004, Vol. 9 No.10

SIRA'S New Radiation-Tolerant APS Camera
Survives Battering by High-Energy Particles

(Chislehurst, Kent - 16 December 2004) Two tests by independent organisations have recently confirmed the extremely high radiation tolerance of Siraôs APS250 video camera. The camera had previously been successfully tested with a 5 Mrad dose of Gamma rays, but has now survived high radiation doses exceeding 6 Mrad from beams of high energy particles with similar performance.

APS250 radiation-tolerant camera head and STAR250 imager (high resolution version available on request from jon.holmes@sira.co.uk) sira
The APS250 camera uses a STAR250 CMOS image sensor with a protective epilayer, developed and manufactured by Fillfactory N.V. a Cypress semiconductor company (Mechelen, Belgium) for the European Space Agency, supported with radiation-hard electronics developed by Sira using its experience with design of satellite-borne imagers. One test was performed at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB), Cambridge, UK. The camera was subjected to a dose in excess of 10 million 300 keV electrons per pixel with only a 15% reduction in sensitivity. MRC- LMB are investigating the possibility of using radiation-hard cameras for direct imaging of biological samples in electron microscopes, to avoid the need for the complexity of a phosphor/fibre optic or lens coupling.

Another test was performed by CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, to assess the suitability of the STAR250 sensor for monitoring applications. The imager received a dose of 253 million 60 MeV protons per pixel, a total radiation dose of 6 Mrad at a fluence of 400 krad/hour and was still operational, although with reduced contrast. They have ordered five APS250 video cameras, two of which will be installed as target monitors for the ioCERN Neutrinos to Grand Sassoln project in 2005, the others will be used in beam dump monitoring for the Large Hadron Collider.

Sira spokesperson Jon Holmes said iaWe are finding lots of applications for the APS250, ranging from monitoring in nuclear plants, particle accelerators and fusion reactors, to scientific research where ionizing radiation is a problem for conventional detectorsla. Sira welcomes enquiries from users, systems integrators and potential distributors.

Contact information:

Jon Holmes
South Hill
Kent, BR7 5EH
Tel +44 (0)208 468 1770
Email: jon.holmes@sira.co.uk
Steve Hutchins
1211 Geneva 23
Tel + 41 22 767 3280
Email: steve.hutchins@cern.ch

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology,
Hills Road,
Cambridge CB2 2QH
UK Belgium
Tel +44 (0)1223-248011

Fillfactory, a Cypress semiconductor company
Tim Baeyens
Senior Account Manager
SchaliŽnhoevedreef 20B
Tel: +32.(0)15.446.351

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