26 April 2011

Sofradir demos 150K HOT MWIR detector consuming <2W

In booth 503 at this week’s SPIE Defense, Security & Sensing (DSS 2011) exhibition in Orlando, FL, USA (25–29 April), Sofradir of Châtenay-Malabry, which manufactures cooled infrared (IR) detectors based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT/HgCdTe) for military, space and industrial applications, is demonstrating its prototype High Operating Temperature (HOT) infrared (IR) detector.

The HOT Scorpio TV-format mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) prototype can operate at 150K (–123°C) and consumes less than 2W (about a third of current industry standards, and among the best for MCT IR detectors in the imaging industry, it is claimed).

The higher the temperature at which an IR detector can operate, the less power is required to cool it. Standard focal plane arrays (FPAs) made with MCT technology from Sofradir operate at about 90K (–183 °C); FPAs made with indium antimonide (InSb) technology operate around 77K (–196°C). By operating at 150K, the FPA in the HOT Scorpio MWIR takes the power consumption and battery autonomy of IR systems a significant step forward, the firm claims.

“Sofradir is looking ahead to the opportunities that HOT Scorpio MWIR, which operates at 150K using less than 2W, will open up in systems aimed at optimizing size, weight and power (SWaP),” says chairman & CEO Philippe Bensussan.

Sofradir says that HOT Scorpio MWIR responds to calls from military procurement agencies to reduce the weight of future combat equipment. Infantryman gear can weigh 50–90lbs (22–40kg) on average, and batteries contribute significantly to this, so system engineers are embracing any reduction in the power consumption of components that enables them to use smaller and lighter batteries or gain in battery autonomy.

Sofradir gives five talks on new trends in IR detectors

At this week’s DSS 2011 symposium, Sofradir executives are giving five presentations on new trends in infrared detectors for military and space applications:

  • ‘Sofradir’s latest developments for infrared space detectors’;
  • ‘HOT infrared detectors using MCT technology’;
  • ‘MCT IR detectors in France’;
  • ‘Infrared dual-color and dual-band band detectors for next generation’; and
  • ‘Compact Dewar and electronics for large format infrared detectors’.

Scientists at France’s technology research center CEA-LETI, with whom Sofradir has a long-standing collaboration (including a joint R&D laboratory), co-authored two of the five technical papers.

Tags: Sofradir HgCdTe MCT IR detector

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