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Sofradir and Onera unite to enhance IR detection

The partners’ combined strengths in aerospace and defence research and industrial know-how will facilitate the paradigm shift needed for innovation in disruptive technology in thermal imaging

France headquartered organisations, Sofradir and Onera have formed a new research and innovation partnership.

Sofradir pioneers developments in cooled IR detectors based on Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT),  InSb, InGaAs and Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) for military, space and industrial applications, Onera is an aerospace and defence research and technology organisation in France.

The partners have committed to a five-year project aimed at developing disruptive technologies in infrared (IR) detection in order to provide OEMs with more highly advanced capabilities in thermal imaging.

The innovations will also enable equipment makers to address future expectations in the performance of optronics systems, where infrared detection is key. In addition, the project aims to accelerate the transfer of Onera’s research to Sofradir, thereby increasing the global market competitiveness of Sofradir and its customers.

IR detectors are advanced technology components at the centre of multiple military, space, commercial and scientific applications: thermal imagers, missile seekers, surveillance systems, targeting systems or observation satellites. Their performance and price are critical to the competitiveness of optronics systems.

“Sofradir and Onera are collaborating once again to break down the technological barriers in infrared by exploring new possibilities in optical integration and other techniques,” says Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO of Sofradir.

He continues, “Onera is known for its vision, vast knowledge and expertise in aerospace and defence system design. We are excited about leading future developments in IR detection. We have high expectations about what these advantages will bring to our customers who design optronics systems for defence, space and commercial applications.”

The project involves transferring emerging technologies and know-how from Onera, making them ready for industrial processing. The team will carry out research on and develop new techniques for infrared detectors, such as integrated optics, greater compactness, improved functionality and performance of thermal imaging equipment.

“This Partner Research Innovation agreement is further evidence of industry’s strong interest in Onera’s advanced research,“ comments Thierry Michal, acting managing technical director at Onera. “The long-term commitment Sofradir and Onera are giving this project will pave the way for major technological advances.”

Sofradir and Onera have previously successfully collaborated on other research projects involving infrared detection.

This Partner Research Innovation (PRI) agreement, a new type of French public-private contract enabling the transfer of technology and know-how from Onera to industry, is the first the two organisations have signed together.

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