The Hayabusa2 probe will reach the asteroid "1999 JU3" in mid-2018 for purposes of surveying the asteroid and returning samples to Earth for analysis. The spacecraft’s MicrOmega IR microscope, which was developed by IAS (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale at Orsay, France) with the support of CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, the French space agency), will be used to image the surface of the asteroid in order to determine its composition.
Implemented into that MicrOmega IR microscope is the Neptune infrared detector from Sofradir. The detector features a 500 x 256 HgCdTe focal plane array with a 30 µm x 30 µm pixel size. With sensitivity from short wave to low mid wave IR, the detector will image the ground over 365 spectral bandwidths between 0.95µm and 3.65 µm. Neptune was developed more than ten years ago for airborne hyperspectral or spectrometry applications.
JAXA’s Hayabusa2 mission will end in 2020 with asteroid ground samples being retrieved to Earth.
"Sofradir is extremely proud to be part of this new deep space science mission that will surely excite every citizen and not only scientific teams, as we have lately witnessed with the ongoing ROSETTA mission,"said Philippe Bensussan, Sofradir Chairman and CEO. "This attests to Sofradir’s increasing technological leadership in producing reliable and high performance IR products for space applications."
View more information on the Neptune SW detector.
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