Lynred delivers flight-model IR detector to MicroCarb, Europe’s pioneer CO2 monitoring space mission

Nov. 22, 2019
The first European CO2 monitoring mission will see Lynred’s large-format SWIR detector, NGP, at center of satellite’s spectrometer instrument built by Airbus Defence & Space.

Lynred (Veurey-Voroize, France), which specializes in infrared technology for aerospace, defense, and commercial markets, says its has delivered the first flight model of its largest shortwave infrared detector, called the Next Generation Panchromatic Detector (NGP), to the MicroCarb space mission (which is led by the French space agency CNES and is planned for launch in 2021).

The aim of the MicroCarb mission is to accurately measure the atmospheric concentration of CO2 across the globe, as well as improve understanding of the mechanisms through which global climate change unfolds, explains François Buisson, MicroCarb project manager at CNES. “MicroCarb is the first mission of its kind in Europe,” he says. “It gained support from the French government during COP-21 in Paris in December 2015. CNES and satellite manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space set the mission’s stringent requirements through which Lynred’s NGP detector was selected, the only IR detector available with capabilities that met our needs, due to its high-level of performance.”

Lynred’s NGP detector will be at the center of the high-resolution spectrometer instrument onboard the MicroCarb satellite. The NGP flight model is the first shortwave infrared (SWIR) detector with a size higher than 1000 x 1000 pixels, and is the largest ever developed in Europe and delivered for a space mission, according to Lynred.

Lynred delivered NGP to Airbus Defence and Space (ADS), the prime contractor of the spectrometer instrument for the MicroCarb mission. Lynred has previously collaborated with ADS on space projects, such as Sentinel 2, Sentinel 5 (which will integrate a Lynred NGP detector onboard the METOP-SG platform), and Metimage, among others.

NGP is a panchromatic IR detector designed for earth observation missions, notably for CO2 environmental monitoring. Due to its spectral bandwidth (0.4 – 2.5 µm), the NGP detector is well-suited to capturing CO2 emission and absorption spectral lines.

NGP builds upon Lynred’s earlier Saturne generation of hyperspectral detectors, offering several performance improvements, including an increase by a factor of four of the number of spectral channels, an increase in spatial resolution, and a smaller size (half the size of the previous generation).

NGP is also a candidate for inclusion in the ESA CO2M mission. This mission is expected to be launched in 2025 with an objective to measure CO2 fluxes (emission and absorption) as well as an associated geographical cartography of these fluxes around the earth.


About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

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