Jim Janesick’s Work at SRI

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SRI publishes an article about Jim Janesick's recent works on image sensors for space astronomy:

"Janesick, senior principal research scientist at SRI’s Advanced Imaging lab, has been with the institute for 20 years and before that was at NASA’s famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for 22.

Janesick is the designer of SRI’s CMOS spaceborne imagers onboard the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Solar Orbiter launched in 2020, and NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launched in 2018, missions that orbit the sun to study solar physics. Janesick notes that “after many years of advanced development, SRI’s CMOS imagers were awarded a TRL6 rating,” referring to the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale of 1 to 9 that NASA uses. “Once the team was at TRL6 along with successful ground-based prototype demonstrations, NASA gave the green light to use SRI’s CMOS imager in an instrument called the Solar and Heliospheric Imager, or SoloHI. This automatically gave the same rating to the Wide-Field Imager for Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) instrument since both missions use the same CMOS imager.”

NASA and ESA selected SRI’s imager because they were designed and fabricated to withstand the sun’s harsh radiation environment over several years at close range. As such, the spacecrafts are capable of capturing the closest images of the sun.

As the Parker Probe and Solar Orbiter proceeds with its missions, Janesick continues his as well. These days, he is most excited about two upcoming SRI missions; the Europa Clipper spacecraft, scheduled for a 2024 launch and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-U also scheduled for 2024. GOES will fly a solar instrument called Compact Coronagraph (CCOR) and the Europa Clipper will fly a Jupiter-oriented instrument named Europa Imaging System (EIS). GOES will use the same CMOS imager as the SoloHi imager. The Europa spacecraft will have the first large-scale flight approved CMOS imager ever flown (2k x 4k pixels). “We do an extensive testing and selection process in finding several perfect flight candidates, and we’re at that stage now for Europa,” Janesick states.

Jim Janesick is known to the broad cycles of image sensor designers for writing a book on Photon Transfer Curve (PTC), one of the most important characterization tools today. He received Exceptional Lifetime Achievement Award from International Image Sensor Society in 2019.

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