Patent Number: 7,030,356

Title: CMOS imager for pointing and tracking applications

Abstract: Systems and techniques to realize pointing and tracking applications with CMOS imaging devices. In general, in one implementation, the technique includes: sampling multiple rows and multiple columns of an active pixel sensor array into a memory array (e.g., an on-chip memory array), and reading out the multiple rows and multiple columns sampled in the memory array to provide image data with reduced motion artifact. Various operation modes may be provided, including TDS, CDS, CQS, a tracking mode to read out multiple windows, and/or a mode employing a sample-first-read-later readout scheme. The tracking mode can take advantage of a diagonal switch array. The diagonal switch array, the active pixel sensor array and the memory array can be integrated onto a single imager chip with a controller. This imager device can be part of a larger imaging system for both space-based applications and terrestrial applications.

Inventors: Pain; Bedabrata (Los Angeles, CA), Sun; Chao (San Marino, CA), Yang; Guang (West Covina, CA), Heynssens; Julie B. (Santa Clarita, CA)

Assignee: California Institute of Technology

International Classification: H01L 27/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 4/18/02018