October 31, 2006, Veurey-Voroize, France--Sofradir, developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared detectors, has signed a $1.3 million dollar contract with a worldwide supplier of electro-optic space and defense systems. Under the contract, Sofradir will provide large-format, 30-micron-pixel-pitch shortwave infrared detectors (SWIR) for hyperspectral applications in airborne platforms.
The mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) focal plane array (FPA) to be supplied, Saturn SWIR, is one of the largest monolithic formats on the market, 1000 x 256, and Sofradir is the only manufacturer to have a space-qualified FPA of this size available, off-the-shelf. Saturn will play a key role in the initial testing phase of the customer's hyperspectral system on aircraft. For Sofradir, this contract offers the potential for further collaboration on projects for space applications, in the future.
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, where Saturn is being used.
For more information, visit www.sofradir.com.