Sofradir supplies additional IR detectors for GMES Sentinel-2

FEBRUARY 2, 2010--Sofradir has been awarded an additional EUR2.5 million contract to provide a second batch of 15-micron-pitch multilinear SWIR arrays for the space-borne Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative.

Feb 2nd, 2010

FEBRUARY 2, 2010--Sofradir (Paris, France), a developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared (IR) detectors for military, space, and industrial applications, has been awarded an additional EUR2.5 million contract to provide a second batch of 15-micron-pitch multilinear shortwave infrared (SWIR) arrays for the space-borne Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. GMES is a joint undertaking of the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA).

The new order follows a previous EUR6.7 million contract awarded to Sofradir by Astrium SAS, a worldwide supplier of satellite and space equipment, to custom-design a three-band SWIR for GMES Sentinel-2. The IR detectors, based on Sofradir's mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) technology, are replacing a competing technology previously used in European space projects. The multilinear SWIR arrays are for the Multi-Spectral Instrument (MSI), an earth observation instrument onboard each of the Sentinel-2 satellites. The MSI is a filter-based push-broom imager. It provides imagery in 13 spectral channels with spatial resolutions ranging from 10 to 60 m and fast revisit allowed by a 290-km swath width. That is the strip of the Earth that is scanned by the satellite. The instrument is required to operate over a spectral range extending from the visible near infrared (VNIR, 400-1100 nm) to the SWIR (1100-2500 nm) spectral range.

"This subsequent contract is a direct result of the high levels of satisfaction we received on the three-band SWIR detector we custom-designed for the GMES Sentinel-2 mission," says Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO at Sofradir. "Getting the go-ahead to supply more IR detectors of this caliber for the Sentinel-2 satellite is a clear demonstration of the confidence our customers have in our products and marks another step forward for Sofradir in the space market. We are delighted with the outcome."

Sofradir will start delivering flight models for the two Sentinel satellites by mid-2010. The company is involved in a number of satellite and space missions, covering applications such as earth mapping, environment and disaster monitoring, meteorology, and planet exploration.

-- Posted by Carrie Meadows, Vision Systems Design

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