Infrared detector amplifies input signals in extreme low light

JUNE 1, 2009--A 30-micron-pitch avalanche photodiode (APD) mid-TV format infrared detector amplifies low-input signals.

JUNE 1, 2009--A 30-micron-pitch avalanche photodiode (APD) mid-TV format infrared detector amplifies low-input signals. Designed for military applications, active imagery (laser gated imaging), spectrometry, gas detection, and various scientific applications, the detector made with mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) technology enables users to operate cameras with small apertures or with narrow wavebands in extreme low light detection. The device can amplify low input signals by a factor of 5300, keeping the photodiode signal-to-noise level constant.
Sofradir
Paris, France
www.sofradir.com

-- Posted by Carrie Meadows, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com

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PRESS RELEASE

Sofradir demonstrates new infrared detector that amplifies input signals in extreme low light

Sofradir's new Avalanche Photodiode (APD) MWIR detector debuts at the SPIE Defense, Security & Sensing Conference 2009, booth #611 & #616, where the company will give five technical presentations on advanced research in Mercury Cadmium Telluride technology

Paris, April 14, 2009 - Sofradir, a developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared detectors for military, space and industrial applications, today announced it will demonstrate its new Avalanche Photodiode (APD) mid-TV format IR detector for amplifying low input signals and give five presentations on advanced research in Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT/HgCdTe) technology at the SPIE Defense, Security & Sensing Conference in Orlando, FL, April 14-17, 2009.

"We see our MCT Avalanche Photodiode 30 micron pitch IR detector offering customers a flexible solution to address emerging opportunities in IR applications where input light signals are very low," says Philippe Tribolet, VP R&D, Technology and Products at Sofradir. "The SPIE Defense, Security & Sensing Conference is a forum in which Sofradir has actively participated for the past 16 years. It is an ideal meeting at which to demonstrate our new low-noise APD IR detector offering system integrators a choice of wavebands, more compact optics and an ability to overcome any low input signal Read-Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC) performance degradation."

Designed for military applications, active imagery (laser gated imaging), spectrometry, gas detection and a range of scientific applications, Sofradir's APD 30 micron pitch IR detector made with Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) technology enables users to operate cameras with small apertures or with narrow wavebands in extreme low light detection.

Sofradir's APD IR detector can amplify low input signals by a factor of 5,300 keeping the photodiode signal to noise level constant, a result unmatched by competing technologies, the company says.

The announcement further expands Sofradir's large portfolio of high-performance, high volume MCT IR detectors in the short-waveband (1-2.5 micron), and mid-waveband (3-5). It can be used for active imagery (2D or 3D). It can also be used for passive imagery, where low input signals are amplified.

The R&D team at Sofradir will present five technical papers during SPIE, a leading meeting in the defense industry that brings together top researchers, scientists and engineers from the military, industry and academia. The presentations are:
-Uniting IR detectors for tactical & space applications: a continuous cycle of reliability
-50 years of successful MCT research and production in France
-New high gain IR detectors for active imaging
-Ultra low power ADC on chip for high performance IR detectors
-Sofradir MCT technology for space applications

About Sofradir
Sofradir develops and manufactures advanced infrared detectors (IR) for military, space and commercial applications. It specializes in cooled IR detectors based on a sophisticated high performance technology, Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT), and its vast product portfolio of scanning and staring arrays covers the entire infrared spectrum.

Sofradir also offers QWIP detectors developed in cooperation with Thales.

Sofradir owns two subsidiaries: ULIS, of which GE Equity has 15 per cent ownership, and Sofradir EC. ULIS is a high volume manufacturer of infrared detectors for low-cost IR cameras for industrial, professional and security applications. Sofradir EC develops and supplies infrared equipment for scientific, industrial, public safety, security and defense applications.

Customers for the group include the US Army, Thales, Sagem, Selex, Thales Alenia Space, ESA (European Space Agency) and FLIR Systems.

Sofradir's headquarters are located in Châtenay-Malabry, near Paris, France. Its manufacturing facilities and those of ULIS are located in Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble, in France. Sofradir EC is based in Fairfield, NJ (USA). Sofradir, ULIS and Sofradir EC employ more than 500 people. Total sales in 2008 were in the order of EUR 120 million (USD 150-160 million).

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