ITER, one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today, will require imaging systems to monitor and inspect the nuclear fusion facility. These cameras will have to withstand very high levels of radioactivity with radiation dose that can reach 100 Mrad (1 MGy)… 1000 times more than what is usually considered for space applications.
After years of research on radiation effects on CMOS Image Sensors, the image sensor research team (CIMI) of ISAE-SUPAERO has developed an image sensor demonstrator which design has been optimized to survive these harsh conditions. This custom integrated circuit has been embedded in a camera demonstrator that has been successfully tested in conditions representative of the real application.
This first positive result opens the door to the possible development of full size radiation hard cameras that can sustain the demanding ITER environment.
More information on the F4E european agency website.