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VENTURA COUNTY BUSINESS | VENTURA COUNTY DIGEST

Rockwell Science Center Gets Chilean Observatory Contract

May 16, 2000|BARBARA MURPHY

Rockwell Science Center in Thousand Oaks has been awarded a $1.5-million contract from the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany, to provide the world's largest infrared image sensors used in astronomy.

The sensors will be used at La Silla Observatory, an international astronomical site that ESO operates in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

The sensors will be installed in a spectrograph used to study the universe when it was 10% to 20% of its current age.

Rockwell officials said their sensors allow detection of the small amounts of heat radiated from distant celestial bodies.

Each sensor contains nearly 4.2 million picture elements and has the sensitivity to record images below one-billionth the level of typical room light, officials said.

The science center focuses on the physical and information sciences for Rockwell's businesses, various commercial customers and the U.S. government.

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