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The CHIEM (Compact Hyperspectral Instrument Engineering Model) project consists of system engineering activities to refine the design of a Compact Hyperspectral Instrument and to complete an end to end performance analysis in order to bring it to a space use technology readiness level. The project is part of the ESA General Support Technology Program (GSTP).

While partners will develop optical system and perform modifications of an existing large format CMOS sensor design to allow the deposition of Fabry-Pérot filters at wafer level, DELTATEC will develop the detector read-out electronics and an EGSE to interface the read-out electronics to standard computer.

This Read-out electronics and EGSE will be able to acquire, from the detector, a data flow up to 25 Gbits per second. In this phase of the project, the read-out electronics is designed with last updated technologies and component off the shelf (COTS) like DDR-3 1600 memories, A8Zynq SoC or 3G SDI links.

At the end of the project, DELTATEC will propose solutions to design a space version of this ROE. This will be based on space qualified technologies (Virtex-5QV or RTG4 SoC). Another approach is to propose one hybrid system architecture based on COTS components, RadHard devices and Fault Tolerant mechanisms (ECC, internal or external watchdog and memory scrubbing).


One of the biggest challenge is to deal with the very-high data rate. The CMV12000 sensor from Xilinx is able to output images at a rate of 300 frames per seconds, with each frame containing 12 megapixels and with each pixels coded on 10 bits.

Another challenge is to apply corrections (FPN, PRNU, and bad pixel correction) on the images while being acquired. This implies to use the last System on Chip (SoC) technologies and last DDR memory technologies in order to satisfy the project’s requirements. Printed circuit board (PCB) will have to be compliant with these very high-speed technologies.

DELTATEC provides, computer with image grabber in order to acquire and store the images from the camera. Knowing that acquisition and storage could not alter the data rate, here again last frame grabbing technologies and data storage will be used.


DELTATEC develops a complete camera solution based on a Zynq System on Chip (SoC) from Xilinx.

DELTATEC has an impressive track record of developments in digital video. Thanks to its great system expertise, DELTATEC is able to propose a solution that was both compact and complete, meeting all customer requirements.

Camera includes the CMV12000 image sensor from CMOSIS, a Zynq SoC to control the operations (sensor’s control, images corrections) from Xilinx and 2 Gigabits of DDR3 memories for buffering. 8 3G SDI links are used to transfer images from the camera to the Ground Support Equipment. 

For the acquisition of the images, DELTACAST frame grabbers are used.

For the storage, in order to not reduce the data rate, last NVMe technology is used.