New MWIR detector offers defense industry small size

June 12, 2009--Sofradir has launched the industry's most compact cooled infrared detector for military hand-held systems and small UAVs. The Epsilon mid-wave IR detector offers defense equipment manufacturers smaller size and lower power consumption advantages.

June 12, 2009--Sofradir (Veurey-Voroize, France), provider of advanced infrared detectors for military, space and commercial applications, has announced the launch of Epsilon, the most compact cooled mid-wave infrared detector of its type (MWIR) in the industry. The new 384 x 288 15 micron pitch 1/2 TV format MWIR detector offers military hand-held systems and small UAVs the advantage of small size, low power consumption, and lighter weight.

Epsilon applications include military-grade hand-held systems, such as night vision goggles, and small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, (UAVs). Defense manufacturers see weight reduction in these applications as important to minimizing operator fatigue in IR goggles and enabling smaller UAVs to carry payload with cooled IR detectors. For end-users, in addition to meeting lightweight requirements, Epsilon gives them the type of identification and detection performance advantages that only cooled IR detectors can bring. For system integrators, Epsilon's low power consumption, compactness, and compatibility with very small batteries and small optics, can help them to simplify the design of new systems.

Epsilon is roughly half the size and weight of other mid-wave 1/2 TV format IR detectors. Its 15 micron pixel size is compatible with small IR optics, the key feature that allows system integrators to bring additional reductions in size and weight.

"We are continuing to fulfill our promise to customers by providing the best in IR systems, so that they can build lighter and even more energy-efficient equipment," says Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO at Sofradir. "We were the first to introduce the 'now standard' 15 micron pitch IR detector and with several hundred of those successfully delivered, we are the most experienced supplier in this market."

Minimizing power consumption has been the underpinning concept in Epsilon's design, which Sofradir has achieved using new advanced technologies and a very small cryogenic cooler. With power consumption at a mere 2 W, roughly half of what standard cooled MWIR formats offer and close to what is required by microbolometers (an IR detector that does not need cooling), end users benefit by being able to double the life of current batteries or use smaller batteries to further reduce weight.

Epsilon is the latest product to join Sofradir's compact 15 micron pitch MWIR detector portfolio. MCT technology in MWIR has demonstrated that it is the most successful approach for achieving small pixel pitch. The other products include Scorpio (640 x 512), and Jupiter (1280 x 1024), a top-of-the-line mega-pixel high definition TV-compatible large format array.

Sofradir will showcase Epsilon at Eurosatory in Paris, June 16 - 20, on stand D115c


--V.C.

More in Detectors & Imaging