Focal plane arrays , Infrared detectors , MCT , Megapixel , Sofradir , SWIR

“New Sofradir VISIR-SWIR large format detector for next generation space missions“


SPIE Edhimbourg 2012





Remote Sensing

For now more than 10 years, Sofradir is involved SWIR detector manufacturing, developing and improving its SWIR detectors technology, leading to a mature technology that enables to address most of missions needs in term of performances, but also with respect to hard environmental constraints.

SWIR detection range at Sofradir has been qualified for space applications thanks to various programs already run (APEX or Bepi-Colombo programs) or currently running (Sentinel 2, PRISMA mission). Recently, for PRISMA mission, Sofradir is extending its Visible-Near infra-red technology, called VISIR, to 1000x256 hyperspectral arrays. This technology has the huge advantage to enable detection in both visible range and SWIR detection range (0.4µm up to 2.5µm).

As part of the development of large format infrared detectors, Sofradir has developed Jupiter 1280x1024, 15µm pixel pitch detector in mid 2000s and this detector is available at production level since the end of year 2000s.

Based on the experiences acquired in SWIR and VISIR technologies as well as in the development of large format infrared detectors, since 2011, in the frame of an ESA program (named Next Generation Panchromatic detector), Sofradir is developing a new VISIR 1kx1k detector. This new detectors has a format of 1024x1024 pixels with a 15 µm pixel pitch and it is adapted to spectral range from UV to SWIR domain. This development contains mainly two challenges :
- the extension of the detector sensitivity down to UV spectral range
- the development of a large format ROIC with 15µm pixel pitch adapted to VISIR and SWIR spectral range involving in particular low input fluxes.

In this paper, we will describe the architecture and functionalities of this new detector. The expected performances will be presented as well. Then, first electro-optical characterizations and results will be described. Finally, main applications of this kind of detectors and expected spatial missions will be presented.



AUTHORS :         

Bruno FIEQUE, Nicolas Jamin, Philippe CHORIER, Patricia Pidancier, Laurent Baud, Bertrand Terrier
SOFRADIR, 43-47 rue Camille Pelletan,
Phone:    Fax :



Bruno Fièque has worked for 7 years at ULIS company. He was in charge of the test of the new product from 2002 to 2005. Then he became new product and test mean manager between 2005 to 2009. In 2009 he joined Sofradir and he is now project manager in the space program department.