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Lynred SWIR Detector to Fly as Part of Copernicus Program

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Lynred, the developer of IR detectors that last month was pegged to develop a SWIR linear array for the Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) mission of the European Space Agency’s Copernicus program, will supply its Next-Generation Panchromatic (NGP) SWIR detector to fly on that program’s Carbon Dioxide Monitoring (CO2M) mission. Thales Alenia Space has contracted the company for the project and will integrate the NGP SWIR detector in a spectral imager instrument designed to measure the quantity of CO2 gas in Earth’s atmosphere generated by human activity.

Copernicus is the core satellite Earth-observation program of the European Commission. It provides Earth observation data aimed at initiatives that include environmental protection, climate monitoring, and natural disaster assessment. Images measured as part of the CO2 Mission will provide the key space component input of the Operational Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions Monitoring and Verification Support (MVS) Capacity — a technical capacity to provide support to the policymakers and the scientific community that aims to supply extra evidence on the emissions levels and trends, coupling anthropogenic activities and associated emissions, with the atmospheric patterns in greenhouse gas concentrations, according to the Publications Office of the EU.

Lynred’s NGP detector is a large-format SWIR flight model that covers wavelengths in the SWIR region that correspond to the absorption of different elements present in the atmosphere. The format of the sensor is well suited to pair with the existing requirements of spectro-imager instruments, notably swath cover, which is the specific area on Earth’s surface that will be imaged with the sensor and imaging device. Flight models of the NGP are currently deployed in instruments on board other environmental space observation missions.

On the LSTM mission, the company’s SWIR linear array will be integrated in a high-resolution radiometer that measures land-surface temperatures. LSTM aims to improve sustainable agricultural productivity at field-scale in regions experiencing increasing water scarcity and climate variability. Lynred’s SWIR detector will capture infrared light at 0.945, 1.375, and 1.61 µm. Its design will meet the special needs of the mission, notably a linear array with four different lines of 1200 pixels each in the across-track satellite velocity direction and 12 pixels in the long-track scanning direction. The 12 pixels will enable the implementation of a TDI (time-delay integration) operation, which is a signal-to-noise ratio improvement method to enhance image quality directly on the detector chip.

Delivery dates for the SWIR detector were not made public. Airbus, which is coordinating LSTM, plans to receive the first flight model of the SWIR detector from Lynred by the end of 2023.


Photonics Spectra
Aug 2021
BusinesslynredIRIR imagingIR detectorIR detector arraysSensors & DetectorsEuropespaceSWIRSWIR camerasCopernicus programSpectroEUlight speed

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