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"When working with high-speed capture, you want to do that without moving parts and allow the sensor to capture all of the image at one time, so you don't have to use a rolling shutter that will capture artifacts," DeLuca explains. "That's why an interline CCD with electronic shutter works well. We're still trying to work that out with a CMOS rolling shutter."
Cameras also are used on the shuttle for space walks and when working in a vacuum, with some modifications for the conditions. These also are used inside the shuttle for pictures taken on the shuttle and in the space station. There is a whole library of pictures of earth, more than 130,000 images that can be searched by location.
Kodak CCDs also are routinely used in other camera systems operated by astronauts during shuttle missions and on the International Space Station, including the handheld digital cameras used by astronauts to capture images from space and the recently launched Earth Viewing Camera.
Surprisingly, these space-based products all use image sensors that are unmodified from those available from Kodak for use on earth.
"I think from Kodak's perspective the really important point is that all of the applications are commercial-grade sensors," DeLuca says. "They're all just catalog parts. Different integrators have taken them and put them into space. It speaks to the quality and robustness of the devices people use every day."