8 March 2011

IR imaging firm Sofradir appoints VP of technology

Sofradir of Châtenay-Malabry, near Paris, France, which manufactures cooled infrared detectors based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT/HgCdTe) for military, space and industrial applications, has appointed David Billon-Lanfrey as vice president of R&D, technology & products. He replaces Philippe Tribolet, who died last November at the age of 51 after a year-long fight against cancer.

As new head of the technology department, Billon-Lanfrey will oversee a team of 100 that includes engineers in metallurgy, semiconductor materials, microelectronics, optoelectronics, micromechanics, cryogenics and other specialty areas in physics and chemistry, all necessary for the development of IR detectors that cover the entire spectrum from visible to VLWIR (very long-wavelength infrared). Sofradir says that his promotion from within the firm ensures the continuation of R&D projects and product developments for customers that are currently underway.

“David is taking over the helm of our technological developments at a challenging time, when defense budgets are shrinking and the need to satisfy SWaP (reduce system size, weight and power) requirements for military applications is even more pronounced,” notes chairman & CEO Philippe Bensussan. “He is also stepping into the shoes of Philippe Tribolet, a pioneer in infrared technologies,” he adds. “His expertise, knowledge and vision of infrared technologies will build upon our tradition of making best-in-class short-wave, mid-wave and long-wave IR detectors and further advance our product portfolio.”

Billon-Lanfrey previously headed the R&D optronics characterization team for five years, responsible for expanding the team, its role and improving its expertise. Before that, for 12 years he was project manager for R&D and product development, where he contributed to developing the SADA II product for the US market. Billon-Lanfrey is a graduate of optronics at Joseph Fourier university in Grenoble (one of France’s leading health, science and technology universities).

Billon-Lanfrey will lead the R&D and technological teams at Sofradir as well as the researchers at DEFIR, the firm's joint lab with CEA/LETI. “They have already introduced a huge number of innovations into our processes and products to the benefit of our customers,” he comments. “The ability to push the boundaries in performance of our IR detectors has yet to reach its limit due to the versatility of our mercury cadmium telluride technology that can be used to produce IR detectors in every waveband.”

Sofradir has provided defense equipment makers with IR products for thermal imagers, missile seekers and other surveillance, targeting and homing infrared equipment for nearly 25 years. It also develops high-grade IR detectors that are increasingly being used in equipment to observe the Earth and deep space, monitor the environment and climate change, and provide imaging data for weather satellites. The firm delivered 27 flight models for space missions in 2010, a ten-fold increase over previous years.

Tags: Sofradir SWIR HgCdTe MCT

Visit: www.sofradir.com

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