Small, Low Power CameraChips™ Give Spacecraft Sight
SUNNYVALE, Calif. — August 10, 2005 — OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OVTI), the world’s leading supplier of CMOS image sensors, announced that it is collaborating with NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to supply image sensors for the Picosat and Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Systems Engineering (PAUSE) Mars prototype aerobot project. OmniVision also announced that it is supporting the Angstrom Aerospace Corporation (AAC) in Uppsala, Sweden with imagers for the first micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) enabled nanosatellite, the MicroLink Nanosatellite project,
“OmniVision is very proud to participate in these projects because it underscores the company’s ability to provide camera chips that will meet the stringent requirements for these highly demanding applications,” said Jess Lee, Product Marketing Director at OmniVision Technologies. “We believe that our ability to deliver CMOS image sensors with an extremely small footprint and very low power consumption were key factors in getting selected for these space projects.”
PAUSE Aerobot Project
As part of the PAUSE Mars aerobot project, OmniVision will supply CameraChips to be used in the imaging systems onboard. PAUSE aerobots are unmanned scientific exploration vehicles (airborne robots) designed to float like balloons for up to several months in the atmosphere of planets and moons, and are equipped to conduct sophisticated observational programs. PAUSE aerobots consist of a zero-pressure balloon and a prototype Mars aerobot science micro-gondola, which includes three OmniVision imagers, multiple temperature sensors, a pressure sensor, a GPS receiver, a 1GB data storage device, and a radio modem. The OmniVision sensors will be used to take images down, to the side and up. The gondola is lightweight (3.3 kg/7.25 lbs) and consumes little power (~3 watts). The aerobot was recently deployed twice in the Earth’s stratosphere at 35 kilometers (21.9 miles) to simulate the environment on Mars. More information on the project and images of the November 2004 and March 2005 successful deployments can be found at http://robotics.jpl.nasa.gov/~behar/PAUSE/PAUSE.html.
MicroLink Nanosatellite Project
MicroLink-1 (formerly called NanoSpace-1), the first nanosatellite (<10 Kg), is a new breed of small, highly capable spacecraft consisting largely of enabling micro- and nanotechnologies. MicroLink-1 strives to be the front runner of the revolution in pico/nanosatellite architectures. MicroLink-1 is the first satellite whose design was based on a multifunctional microsystems approach. In the upcoming MicroLink space mission, a microsatellite and a nanosatellite are launched jointly. Once in orbit the two are separated. Onboard the spacecraft, OmniVision sensors will be used to take images of Earth and to monitor the satellite separation. The sensors will be packaged into ultra-miniaturized MultiChip-Modules (MCM) reducing the overall camera size by an order of magnitude over current state of the art imaging technologies. MicroLink-1 is currently under development at the Angstrom Aerospace Corporation (AAC) in Uppsala, Sweden, which will commercialize the research performed there on the Nanospace-1 spacecraft platform. NanoSpace studies are funded by the Swedish National Space Board. Microlink-1 is expected to be launched in 2009. For more information on the MicroLink-1, please visit http://www.aaerospace.com or http://www.micro-link.se/.
Statement Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the performance and achievements of the Company’s image sensors with respect to both the PAUSE aerobot project and the MicroLink nanosatellite project, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results, include, without limitation, potential errors, design flaws, manufacturing issues or other problems associated with the image sensors, as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in OmniVision’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including, but not limited to, OmniVision’s annual reports filed on Form 10-K and quarterly reports filed on Form 10-Q. OmniVision expressly disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forward-looking statement.