We present A CMOS image sensor dedicated to lightning detection and imaging. The detector has been designed for the pre-development phase of the lightning detector that will be implemented in Meteosat Third Generation Imager (MTG-I) satellite for European Space Agency (ESA). The lightning detection process (Patent applied) is performed by a smart detector combining on in-pixel frame to frame difference comparison with an adjustable threshold and on-chip digital processing allowing an efficient localization of faint lightning pulse on the entire large format array at 1 kHz. A CMOS prototype sensor with a 256x256 pixel array and 60µm pixel pitch has been fabricated using a 0.35µm 2P 5M technology and tested to validate the selected detection approach.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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