I have been a member of a number of national science teams working on CCD imager systems for scientific satellites. The most recent of these, called VIKING, was a satellite in polar orbit, looking at ultraviolet emissions associated with the aurora borealis, or northern lights as they are more commonly called. My research team constructed several test systems for examining the behavior of commercial CCD imagers under slow scan, low light level, low temperature conditions for that application. We also studied the effects of gamma radiation on CCD characteristics such as noise, full well capacity, etc.
With the advent of CMOS active pixel technologies, this topic presents an exciting research area.