ULIS wins contract to supply French army with uncooled thermal sensors

Aug. 8, 2008
Infrared vision specialist ULIS (Veurey-Voroize, France), a division of Sofradir, signed a five-year contract with Sagem Défense Sécurité (Groupe SAFRAN) as a primary supplier for cameras, including the French army's Future Infantry Soldier System (FELIN). Uncooled microbolometers will be used to fit the thermal imaging rifle sights, multifunction goggles, and cameras for day and night operation and improved target acquisition.

Infrared vision specialist ULIS (Veurey-Voroize, France), a division of Sofradir, signed a five-year contract with Sagem Défense Sécurité (Groupe SAFRAN) as a primary supplier for major weapon sights, handheld equipment, and cameras, including the French army's Future Infantry Soldier System (FELIN). Uncooled microbolometers will be used to fit the thermal imaging rifle sights, multifunction goggles, and cameras for day and night operation and improved target acquisition.

Jean-François Delepau, managing director of ULIS, said, "The fact that we successfully passed extremely stringent qualification tests confirms that ULIS's technology is also highly suitable for military applications. This represents an important step forward in the growth of our company."

ULIS and Sagem Défense Sécurité have a long-standing business relationship and this contract for a major military application emphasizes the commitment of both companies to strengthen their business partnership. Under the agreement, ULIS will deliver its uncooled 384 x 288 - 25 micron microbolometers, with the first delivery due at the end of the year.

The contract also provides for an extension to supply other higher performance uncooled infrared products, such as the 640 x 480 - 25 micron and the 1024 x 768 - 17 micron microbolometers, for several military programs and new markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Microbolometers detect thermal energy over the long-wave range (8-14 microns). When this happens, the detector heats up in response to the absorbed energy and changes its electrical resistance. The resistance change is processed to create an image. Unlike other IR detector equipment, microbolometers do not require cooling. This advantage contributes to lowering the cost of infrared cameras. ULIS amorphous silicon technology, a unique and mature semiconductor technology offers cost-effectiveness and producibility which are not accessible to other technologies. These attributes make ULIS's microbolometers affordable for all types of camera applications.

For more information on ULIS, visit www.ulis-ir.com.

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