Cypress Semiconductor announced that its programmable system-on-chip (PSoC) played an important part in the riveting rescue of the 33 trapped miners in the San Jose copper and gold mine near Copiapo, Chile. Fresno, California-based Central California Video Engineering & Manufacturing (CCV), a subsidiary of Aries, built the specialized camera that was dropped into the initial bore hole to deliver the first pictures that confirmed the miners were alive. A single PSoC replaced a 2” wide circuit board, enabling the compact camera that was lowered 2,300 feet below ground to the miners. The PSoC inside the camera provides band pass filtering and demodulation of the control signal protocol.
The camera used in the rescue was the inspection color camera. It has a maximum outside diameter of only 1.75”, suitable for inspecting small boreholes. The camera has adjustable focus, electronic iris shutter, adjustable lighting, rotation control, front view, side view selection and can withstand a depth of 5,000 feet. The camera uses LED lighting that has a 10,000-hour operating life.
"We were thrilled to play an important role in this dramatic rescue,” said Mike McGrew, VP of Research and Development, AriesCCV.