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The aim of the "TELEMAN 34 - RATOCA" project was to develop, build and test a radiation tolerant TV camera using a solid state sensor array for robustness. This was to involve the determination of the most appropriate structure and technology for the solid state image sensor. Furthermore, the architecture of the camera head was also to be studied to minimise the direct nuclear irradiation of the sensor. It was hoped to achieve a target irradiation dose rate of more than 10 exponent 3 Gy/h and integrated dose of 10 exponent 6 Gy.
A radiation tolerant television (TV) camera is being developed using a solid state sensor array for robustness.
After exploration of different available technologies it was decided to concentrate on multipinned phase (MPP) charge coupled device (CCD) technology. This has the advantages of a full TV resolution sensor (567 x 384 pixels). A ruggedized solid state image sensor was developed with an indium phosphide type photosensor and a silicon on insulator type reading device. The sensor head is connected to the control unit by a 3 m cable. Although the original ambitious radioactive dose targets were not achieved, the following progress has been made:
an increase of 10 in integrated dose (to almost 4 KGy with some decrease in picture quality); an increase of 300 in dose rate (maximum acceptance level is estimated at 277 Gy h{-1} (however pictures with useful information are available up to 660 Gy h{-1}).
The increased tolerance to high radioactive doses allows use of the new camera in previously impossible environments such as in periodic inspection/repair tasks and emergency situations. Further development will be continued on such dose tolerant technology to include the space and military markets.
Work to be done

Thomson TMS, with the support of CIEMAT for simulation and characterisation of structures, was to define the design of the radiation tolerant solid state sensor. This was to include an investigation into the most suitable semi conductor material for high radiation doses. SOFRETEC was to design the electronics of the camera head and was to optimise the driving circuit. AEA Harwell was to perform the radiation testing of the mock up of the camera.

Test strategy

The mock-up of the camera was to be tested under laboratory conditions to prove the principle of operation and to assess radiation resistance.


Sopelem Sofretec SA
53 Rue Casimir Périer
95870 Bezons

Participants (3)

Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas
22,Avenida Complutense
28040 Madrid
Thomson Composants Militaires et Spatiaux
50 Rue Jean-pierre Timbaud
92402 Courbevoie
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
United Kingdom
OX11 0RA Didcot - Oxfordshire