British imaging solutions company e2v said Oct. 11 it has received a European Space Agency (ESA) contract worth up to 2 million euros ($2.8 million) to develop a new Charged Couple Device (CCD) image sensor for Euclid, a dark-energy mapping mission currently vying for funding.
Euclid is one of three space science missions competing for funding under ESA’s Cosmic Vision Program. ESA is expected to pick two missions in June 2011 to proceed into implementation for a 2018 launch. The other two candidates are Solar Orbiter and a planet-hunting mission called Plato.
The first phase of the contract ends in June 2011 and is worth 1.1 million euros, according to e2v spokeswoman Jessica Broom. If Euclid is selected in June, Broom said, e2v will proceed with a second phase that runs to January 2012 and is worth 586,086 euros.
The contract calls for e2v to deliver front illuminated and back illuminated CCDs for demonstration of technology and performance, Broom said.