Abstract

We present a CMOS image sensor dedicated to lightning detection and imaging. The detector has been designed to evaluate the potentiality of an on-chip lightning detection solution based on a smart sensor. This evaluation is performed in the frame of the predevelopment phase of the lightning detector that will be implemented in the Meteosat Third Generation Imager satellite for the European Space Agency. The lightning detection process is performed by a smart detector combining an in-pixel frame-to-frame difference comparison with an adjustable threshold and on-chip digital processing allowing an efficient localization of a faint lightning pulse on the entire large format array at a frequency of 1 kHz. A CMOS prototype sensor with a 256×256 pixel array and a 60 μm pixel pitch has been fabricated using a 0.35 μm 2P 5M technology and tested to validate the selected detection approach.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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