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Sofradir to Supply SWIR Detectors

Photonics.com
Oct 2006
VEUREY-VOROIZE, France, Oct. 31, 2006 -- Sofradir, a French maker of advanced infrared (IR) detectors, announced it has signed a €1 million ($1.3 million) contract with a worldwide supplier of electro-optic space and defense systems to provide large-format, 30-µm pixel pitch shortwave infrared detectors (SWIRs) for hyperspectral applications in airborne platforms.

The mercury cadmium telluride focal-plane array (FPA) that Sofradir will supply, the Saturn SWIR, is one of the largest monolithic formats on the market (1000 x 256), the company said, and will play a key role in the initial testing phase of the customer's hyperspectral system on aircraft. The contract could lead to further collaboration on projects for space applications, it added.

Hyperspectral imagery is used to detect chemical and biological weapons, make bomb-damage assessment of underground structures and penetrate foliage to detect troops and vehicles. Hyperspectral instruments provide images of an observed scene with a high number of spectral channels (typically more than 100) and with a high spectral resolution (typically 10 to 15 nm) in the considered waveband. Sofradir sees continuing growth of hyperspectral vision in satellites, where various technologies are being tried. The company is already engaged in a number of space projects, including the European Space Agency's Airborne Prism Experiment (Apex) mission, for which the Saturn SWIR is being used.

Philippe Bensussan, CEO at Sofradir, said the Saturn was designed to meet any number of mission requirements in varied operating conditions. It operates in the IR optical window range from 0.8 to 3 µms and has an operating temperature of up to 200 K (-73 °C).
For more information, visit: www.sofradir.com



GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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