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21 October 2005 Sofradir infrared detectors for space applications
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Sofradir started to work in the field of space applications and especially in the earth observation domain in the beginning of the 1990s. Thanks to the work done with the support of the French Ministry of Defence, the European Space Agency, and the CNES, Sofradir has acquired a large know-how and became a major supplier for European space industry. Sofradir space technology is based on the use of a qualified Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) technology hybridized with silicon readout circuit covering a bandwidth from 0.8 to 14 μm. Thanks to this technology Sofradir can answer most of the current space needs in terms of infrared instrument. Future space applications require also an extension of the sensitivity range of the infrared detectors to upper wavelength (typically higher than 15 μm) and to lower wavelength to offer infrared components able to operate both in the visible and short wave infrared range. Physically, MCT material is able to operate in the visible range and has a potential to offer a high quantum efficiency and large field factor thanks to the hybrid structure. Another issue of future space applications concerns the size and power consumption of the detectors and the associated cryogenic systems. Thanks to its activity, Sofradir has developed very compact cryogenic systems that can be used advantageously for space applications with limited adaptations and qualifications. This paper proposes an overview of Sofradir technology capabilities for space applications with an emphasis on new potential applications of MCT technology in visible range and for very long wave infrared components. This paper deals also with the capacity of Sofradir MCT and cryogenic technology to be used for both terrestrial and space applications. Finally, a review of the last results obtained in the development of infrared detectors for space applications is proposed.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Philippe Chorier and Michel Vuillermet "Sofradir infrared detectors for space applications", Proc. SPIE 5978, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites IX, 597817 (21 October 2005);

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