Lens R&D - focus on innovation BiSon64 - fine sun sensor - LEO, small satellites, ITAR free BiSon64-B - fine sun sensor with baffle - LEO, small satellites, ITAR free, reduced albedo sensitivity BiSon74-ET-RH - fine sun sensor - GEO, MEO, ITAR free, extended temperature BiSon6 - solar tracker - concentrated photovoltaics CPV


Lens Research and Development
is specialized in high reliability sunsensors for space and terrestrial applications
that can be cost effectively produced in larger quantities.

  • Recent Posts

    • Mechanical parts for spot-on setup arrive at Lens R&D

      Recently the  mechanical parts for the spot-on test setup have arrived at Lens R&D. Under construction in frame of an ESA GSTP program to produce and quality extended temperature sunsensors, the setup is intended to allow  temperature coefficient determination of 12 sunsensors simultaneously.


      Because the temperature coefficient will have to be determined over a temperature range of -125°C to +125°C, this can only be done in vacuum while conductively cooling the sensors. A correct measurement however also entails using at least one reference sensor which is kept at room temperature throughout the process. Last but not least, the tests will be performed at the MiVaF facility at ESTEC which uses an arc discharge lamp to generate the sun illumination signal and consequently produces a lot of 100Hz flicker. These requirements have led to the construction of a dedicated setup.

      The effect of the flicker will be minimised by using dedicated simultaneous sampling electronics which will allow to readout all 56 photodiode and 14 thermistor signals within a fraction of a microsecond.

      The unique setup will provide more insights into the quality of the ESA setup (temporal and spatial flicker noise) and will allow to optimise the calibration strategy to be followed if multiple sensors are to be calibrated for use as a coarse sunsensor. (taking all four generated currents together thus providing a single measurement value per sensor).

      Although never intended to be used as a coarse sunsensor, this mode of operation of the BiSon sunsensors is expected to give a higher accuracy than a single photodiode although with a slightly reduced field of view. Measuring 12 sensors at the same time will allow for a cost effective determination of the temperature coefficient which is needed to operate the sensors outside of the fine sunsensor mode and the simultaneous sampling will avoid long measurement times needed to take several thousands of measurements to average out the source flicker.

      Another significant investment performed to get ahead of our competition in providing cost effective solutions for high reliability Sun sensing.


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    • Merry Christmas and a happy New Year

      On the 19th of December during a small opening ceremony conducted by Kees de Boom (former TNO sunsensor business developer), Lens R&D inaugurated two dedicated cleanrooms at their new address ‘s-Gravendijckseweg 41b 2201CZ Noordwijk.

      The festivities were attended by several people partially traveling significant distances to share the joys associated with this new step in growing up as a company. With these new facilities, Lens R&D is not only capable of sustaining further growth in turnover but also capable of fulfilling all requirements posed to a company delivering products that fulfil the highest quality standards. With an ESA GSTP program running that is intended to lead to a fully qualified BiSon64-ET and BiSon64-ET-B we cannot claim to have ESA qualified products yet, but we are convinced that 2018 will not only bring us the flight qualification of the regular BiSon64-B but also the ESA qualified status for the extended temperature version.

      A remarkable achievement for such a small company as Lens R&D but enabled by the professionalism of the team and relentless support of both ESA professionals, our national space agency, friends, family and supporters (and of coarse our early adopter customers that have enough confidence in our products to use them even though not yet fully qualified)

      To all those, I would like to say:

      Thank you for all the support, and looking forward to a sunny future.

      For those  who like to know a bit more about our products or qualification status, we have all data available for download at the download section of this website and otherwise, you are always free to give us a call on our new location while using the old telephone number )+31 71 2020 123 or send an email to info@lens-rnd.com

      With best regards

      Johan Leijtens

      Proud systems engineer at and Owner of Lens R&D

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    • BiSon64-ET and BiSon64-ET-B are comming

      Having successfully completed the contract negotiations with ESA, Lens R&D is sure to be able to continue with the development and qualification of the BiSon64-ET and BiSon64-ET-B

      The foto presented provides an impression of the BiSon64-ET-B as it will be completed and qualified.

      The underlying GSTP program is quite exciting as it also entails a full qualification according to ECSS standards as well as upgrading the quality control system at Lens R&D to be in line with ECSS standards.

      The latter means that we will officially enter into the realm of high reliability component suppliers when this program is successfully finished as one of the (in not the) smallest high reliability component suppliers ever qualified by ESA.

      Although this is a challenge still ahead of us, we at Lens R&D are sure we will succeed based on the compact but highly focussed and capable team, and the help from our well established supply chain and expert help provided by ESA staff.

      As a cherry on the cake, it has been agreed to supply 20 flight and 2 flight spare units to the ESA PROBA-3 formation flying mission.  http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering_Technology/Proba_Missions/About_Proba-3

      this program will therefore automatically lead to two ECSS qualified TRL9 products.

      The BiSon64-ET and BiSon64-ET-B products will have a very wide qualification temperature range extending from -125°C to +125°C which will allow to mount them on extendable solar panels directly.

      Furthermore the environmental envelop qualification will entail 40g sine, 39g random (at 1.5g2/Hz) and 3000g pyro shock, thus allowing to use the sensors on many missions without any further qualification testing.

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