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(vid -ă-kon) A sensitive semiconductor-based instrument derived from television technology and used in astronomy for detecting and measuring light, ultraviolet, and near-infrared radiation. The target area is photosensitive, responding to the radiation falling on it by producing an electronic signal that varies linearly with the intensity of the incident radiation. The vidicon has been superseded by CCD detectors.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a television camera tube with a photoconductive target consisting of a photoresistor. Under the effect of the light coming from the image, electrical charges accumulate on the target (photoelectric cathode) of the vidicon: the resistance of individual sections of the target changes, and an irregular distribution of electrical potential (so-called potential relief), precisely duplicating the brightness distribution of the individual parts of the image, is created. These charges are scanned by a beam of electrons that is formed and deflected by magnetic and electrostatic fields. The idea of such a tube was suggested in 1925 by a Soviet engineer, A. A. Chernyshev; the first Soviet operational models appeared in 1950.

The target is made of thin (about 5 microns) layers of semiconductive materials: amorphous selenium, antimony trisulfide, and lead oxide with an admixture of lead sulfide, as well as germanium and silicon. The vidicon is noted for its simplicity of design and operation, low internal electrical noise, and small dimensions and for the absence of parasitical signals and halos. Because of persistence in its target, the vidicon is used in industrial television facilities and in the transmission of motion pictures on television, where the transmission of images of quickly moving objects is not required.


Vlasov, V. F. Elektronnye i ionnye pribory, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A camera tube in which a charge-density pattern is formed by photoconduction and stored on a photoconductor surface that is scanned by an electron beam, usually of low-velocity electrons; used chiefly in industrial television cameras.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
When charge-coupled devices began to replace vidicon tubes as the sensor of choice, intensifiers were coupled to CCD or complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensors, either with a lens or by using fiber-optic bonding between the phosphor plate and the solid-state sensor.
The vidicon cameras were used as surveillance tools, as educational microscope magnifiers, for underwater rescues, to inspect sewer pipes; and in New York's Holland Tunnel to monitor traffic flow.
One was the development of closed-circuit television system cameras employing a solid state imaging device in lieu of the vidicon tube device.
The CCD chip has almost totally replaced the Vidicon tube.
The box contains a laser light source (He-Ne laser), a shutter, neutral density filters, a polarizer and analyzer, a sample hot stage with a programmable temperature controller, and a two-dimensional Vidicon camera.
It now makes its images with a television-like vidicon tube, which the instrument's chief scientist, Arthur Hundhausen of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., describes as "pretty worn out."
Though their initial costs are still quite high--from five to 10 times the cost of a vidicon camera--the greater reliability of all-solid-state cameras will help to offset much of the higher price.
NASA needed to discern more detail on Apollo landing sites than a television vidicon could resolve and so equipped the Lunar Orbiters with film cameras with medium-and high-magnification lenses.
A number of groups (9-19) have constructed automated SALS systems using different detectors, such as a vidicon detector coupled with an optical multi-channel analyzer (OMA).
A setting of f-1.4 would be used on a standard Vidicon camera, which needs as much light as possible to operate.