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Xenics InGaAs Detectors Go Into Orbit

The firm's indium gallium arsenide SWIR detectors were launched aboard the ESA satellite Proba-V to map crop and vegetation patterns across the face of the earth
European manufacturer Xenics has released a high-resolution line-scan detectors for demanding scientific and industrial applications.

On May 7th three of Xenics' new Xlin-1.7-3000 SWIR InGaAs detectors were launched aboard the ESA satellite Proba-V.

Besides delivering a high resolution, the new line-scan detector offers high line rates and low noise.

The Xlin-1.7-3000, a line-scan detector in InGaAs technology offers over 3,000 pixels of resolution. Xenics says this is the best specification of any such device on the market.

With its high sensitivity in the SWIR range (0.9 to 1.7 μm) the Xlin-1.7-3000 is suited for the Proba-V (vegetation) satellite mission orbiting at an altitude of 880 km. 

It reveals detailed long-term information on the changing crop and vegetation patterns of the planet and other vital parameters for preserving the biosphere.

Perfectly Suited for Space

The Xlin-1.7-3000 line-scan detector is qualified for space missions with 10 krad of ionising radiation while maintaining its specified performance. A full qualification campaign as prescribed by ESA was carried out, covering harsh environmental, radiation and life test conditions.

Three of the new detectors are currently mounted on the Proba-V satellite, ready for launch with the new ESA VEGA launcher from Kourou, French Guyana. Right after the launch, the detectors will start delivering valuable earth environmental information in the SWIR range over a swath of 2,200 km with a centre resolution of just 100 m.

The Xlin-1.7-3000 consists of three individual InGaAs sub-arrays of 1,024 square pixels (25 x 25 μm) each. They are mechanically butted on a gold-coated boat and mounted on an alumina substrate, together with three individual readout-ICs (ROIC).

The overlap of 20 pixels enables perfect stitching of three individual images to a continuous line of 3,020 pixels over a length of 75.5 mm. The detector is assembled in a custom hermetically sealed 72-pin package with anti-reflective coated window. It is optionally also available in an open package.

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