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Sofradir showcases new generation infrared detector

Lighter weight SWap-C LEO enables system integrators to use smaller sensors while maintaining peak performance

Sofradir, the French developer of advanced IR detectors, today announced that it will demonstrate its new generation SWap-C LEO IR detector at AeroIndia.  SWap-C LEO is a VGA format IR detector optimised for size, weight, performance and cost (SWaP).

Sofradir has cut the size and weight of SWap-C LEO while maintaining its high image resolution and detection range. Measuring 100x70x50 mm and weighing 300g, it is 15 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than earlier models in the mid-wave IR category. This makes it suitable for handHeld thermal imagers, gimbals, Unmanned Vehicles and helicopters, where system developers face environments increasingly demanding in size and consumption.

 "Every year brings new challenges in military applications. Improving SWaP features are recurring expectations placed on IR detector manufacturers. Sofradir's number one objective is to offer unsurpassed compactness, weight, power consumption and value for money across our range of IR products and thereby improve the operational efficiency of target and surveillance equipment," said Laurent Fullana, general manager at Sofradir. "We are excited to show our VGA 15 micron pixel pitch SWap-C LEO to systems integrators and other AeroIndia visitors. It is a trailblazing product building on a strong heritage of proven building blocks. We have already received strong interest from developers of airborne systems."

Performance benefits of SWap-C LEO include reduced power consumption. This is due to a Focal Plane Array (FPA) operating at a temperature of 110K within a smaller dewar volume. The product also comes with standard electronics, such as a 14-bit CameraLink output used in defense applications, for easier integration into IR systems.

Sofradir's IR product portfolio ranges from the visible and near infrared to very far infrared. Sofradir pioneers developments in cooled IR detectors based on a  high performance technology: Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) to which Sofradir has added InSb, InGaAs and Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) technologies. Sofradir is the only European IR manufacturer to have its IR detectors deployed in space.


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