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Sofradir wins first contract with Indian space agency

The mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) detector manufacturer has secured a high value contract which covers new innovations for longer-life infrared detectors
Sofradir has announced that ISRO/SAC, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad has awarded Sofradir a 2.5 year infrared detector contract.

Sofradir will develop large format infrared detector prototypes for testing and will deliver numerous flight models. The value of the contract is undisclosed.

“We are proud to become a supplier to the Indian Space Research Organisation, a major player in the space community,” says Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO at Sofradir. “This is Sofradir’s first contract for flight models with the Space Applications Centre. Foremost, it is the outcome of several years’ close cooperation with the IR team at SAC that included delivering IR detectors for ground testing. It is also a result of our growing reputation as a reliable supplier of technically innovative IR detectors that have proven robust performance in space.”

ISRO/SAC will receive flight models of Sofradir’s IR detector for space applications, the large format 1000x256 Saturn SWIR (ShortWave InfraRed). In the last four years, Sofradir has delivered as many as ten Saturn SWIR flight models to aerospace companies. ISRO/SAC will use Saturn SWIR for future projects within the scope of India’s hyperspectral earth observation satellite developments.



Sofradir Saturn SWIR detector

Compared to Sofradir’s Saturn SWIR detectors currently deployed in space instruments, such as PRISMA and TROPOMI, Sofradir will integrate two new features on top of Saturn SWIR’s space configuration. The innovations will meet ISRO/SAC’s requirements for added performance.

The first innovation consists of a new long-life high-power active cooler. This longer-life cooler has been designed to extend the operating lifetime of Saturn SWIR from one to four years, as a single robust element.

The second innovation involves an integrated custom optical filter that significantly reduces the complexity of optics located in front of the detector.

“With this new contract, we’ll be expanding our offer in space applications to include longer-life cooled IR detectors optimised for size, weight and power,” adds Bensussan. “Our customers will benefit greatly from this development.”

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