MARCH 8--Sofradir (Veurey-Voroize, France;www.sofradir.com), a developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared (IR) detectors for military, space, and commercial applications, has signed a €3.2 million (US$4.2 million) contract with NEC Toshiba Space, a worldwide supplier of space systems, to supply a custom-made bispectral long-wavelength infrared detector (LWIR). Sofradir's bispectral LWIR detector (two bands in long-wavelength range) will be used on the Second Generation Global Imager (SGLI), an observation instrument for the Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM). GCOM is a satellite observation project being carried out by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Under the contract, Sofradir will develop and manufacture a bispectral detector up to 12 μm for multispectral analysis that will be delivered to NEC Toshiba Space in 2009.
The SGLI is a multispectral imaging radiometer and one of three observation instruments destined for the GCOM-C satellite. The purpose of the SGLI is to conduct detailed global monitoring of the ground surface, as well as the middle and lower atmospheres, to allow scientists to observe and better predict the future course of global environmental changes due to natural fluctuations and those caused by mankind. The role of Sofradir's bispectral LWIR detector in the SGLI will be to provide data about the atmosphere and the Earth's surface in thermal IR wavelengths.
The bispectral LWIR detector is a mercury cadmium telluride focal-plane array that includes two arrays centered on 10.8 and 12 μm, respectively, which are hybridized on a single readout circuit for accurate registration. The detector is to function for the duration of the project, which should run for five years.