Sofradir and Onera develop integrated, compact IR detector chip

Sofradir has designed a new infrared detector with integrated optics in collaboration with France’s government research aerospace laboratory, Onera.

Sofradir (Châtenay-Malabry, France), a developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared detectors for military, space, and industrial applications, has designed a new infrared (IR) detector with integrated optics in collaboration with France’s government research aerospace laboratory, Onera. The IR detector chip opens new possibilities in integration and compactness of IR imaging equipment. Sofradir will demonstrate the chipe at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Symposium (April 5-9, Orlando, FL, USA).

The design is based on a standard Sofradir small pitch video quality IR detector (640 x 512 15-micron pixel pitch VGA format). What is new is that Sofradir and Onera have integrated an optical lens alongside the IR detector, a feat that requires control of all of the IR detector operating and performance parameters. As a result, this integrated IR detector chip can produce a standalone image without the use of any other associated optics.

Sofradir says the demonstration IR detector provides a very large field of vision that is well suited for security surveillance applications. This is the first time Europeans have demonstrated the feasibility of an IR detector chip with integrated optics.

“Sofradir invests heavily in R&D to constantly push forward the performance and application of its cooled IR detectors,” says Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO at Sofradir. “Our collaboration with Onera, a centre of excellence in aerospace research, in developing the first IR chip with integrated optics is built upon a relationship that goes back many years. We are excited about the possibilities that this new development will bring our customers in security and surveillance applications.”

Sofradir says that this new integrated IR detector chip could reduce the amount of optics and electronics used in an IR imaging system to about one-third. For IR camera makers, it offers the potential of halving the size of future designed IR systems. “At present, this IR detector allows us to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating optics, but it can definitely open the way for other security applications for cooled IR detectors,” says Philippe Tribolet, VP R&D and technologies.

Posted by Vision Systems Design

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