Infrared detector specialist Sofradir (Veurey-Voroize, France) has been awarded acontract to provide shortwave-infrared (SWIR) arrays for the TROPOMI/S5 - (Sentinel 5 Precursor) mission, as part of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) space initiative. GMES is a joint project by the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Sofradir will deliver off-the-shelf 1000 x 256-pixel SWIR arrays, based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT/HgCdTe) technology, to satellite and space equipment supplier SSTL. The space-qualified technology selection means that Sofradir will not be required to participate in a preliminary design phase, reducing lead time, according to Sofradir chariman and CEO Philippe Bensussan. The company says deliveries will be completed within 2 years.
The SWIR array was originally developed for ESA's Spectra mission in 1999 and now features the optimized focal plane array (FPA) in two packaged versions: one integrated in a dewar with an active cooler, and one in a hermetic package without a cooling system (and thus no moving mechanical parts) that can be implemented with passive cooling in the satellite.
Development teams at Sofradir are also working on a 1000 x 1000-pixel SWIR array partially funded by ESA, for potential use in future ESA-led projects. The Sentinel-5-Precursor space mission is scheduled for launch in 2014.
-- Posted by Vision Systems Design