Press release

Sofradir will give four talks on next-generation infrared detection at SPIE DSS 2013

Presentations will cover infrared (IR) advances across all wavelengths, including designs that improve reconnaissance and target identification of military weapons, and enhance IR detectors used in space and industrial applications.

Sofradir will showcase its latest IR products at booth 1516, at SPIE DSS in Baltimore, April 29 – May 3, 2013

Châtenay-Malabry (near Paris), France, April 25, 2013--Sofradir, a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared detectors for military, space and industrial applications, today announced that it will make four presentations on advances in next-generation infrared detectors in different wavelengths from the visible to far infrared (VLWIR) at SPIE Defense and Security Symposium (SPiE DSS), April 29 – May 3, in Baltimore (USA). SPIE DSS 2013 is one of the defense industry’s leading meetings for top scientists and engineers from the military, industry and research institutions from around the world.

“Sofradir has been actively participating in SPIE DSS for the last 20 years and sharing our latest innovations in infrared detection with participants at this highly attended conference,” said David Billon-Lanfrey, VP of research & development at Sofradir. “Increasing pixel density and resolution, producing larger format arrays, and meeting reduce Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) requirements remain key drivers in our research. We continue to push the boundaries of what can be done in infrared detection at various wavelengths using different IR technologies to bring further benefits to customers.”

IR detectors are advanced technology components used in multiple military, space, commercial and scientific applications from heat seeking missiles to building inspection. A choice of four semiconductor compound materials can be used to make IR detectors that offer capabilities at different wavelengths: InGaAs (Indium Gallium Arsenide), InSb (Indium Antimonide), HgCdTe or MCT (Mercury Cadmium Telluride) and QWIP (Quantum Well infrared Photodetector). In recent developments, Sofradir acquired the full set of IR technologies by adding three to the MCT technology it already owned. At SPIE, the company will focus on InGaAs and MCT technologies.

One of the presentations addressing developments in high performance, long-range cooled IR technologies will be made in collaboration with researchers at DEFIR. DEFIR is a laboratory jointly owned by Sofradir and CEA-Leti, a leading micro- and nanotechnology research center.

Higher resolution, smaller pixel-pitch InGaAs sensors are among the newest developments in IR imaging. Eric Costard, product line manager at Sofradir, will discuss “SWIR InGaAs focal plane arrays in France”. He will focus on the next-generation of SWIR InGaAS products, such as VGA formats 15 micron pitch, targeting a large spectrum of applications from night vision and automotive safety to industrial non-destructive process control.

Yann Reibel, systems engineer, will present: “High Performance and Long-Range Cooled IR Technologies in France”. To improve reconnaissance and target identification in long-range surveillance equipment, commander or gunner sights, ground-to-ground missile launchers and other applications, Sofradir is developing the future MWIR high resolution 10-micron pitch IR detector. The talk will also focus on the VGA format HOT (High Operating Temperature) IR detector that operates at 150K and is dedicated to SWaP applications.

Nicolas Jamin, space projects manager, will present “A Review of the Latest Developments of MCT Infrared Technology from Visible to VLWIR for Space Applications at Sofradir\\\". As a result of Sofradir’s increasing involvement in major space programs over the last ten years, such as the Meteosat third-generation (MTG) network, Jamin will share insights of Sofradir’s space activities and experiences.
Particular emphasis will be placed on: new generation visible – SWIR (Shortwave Infrared) large format detectors with low pixel pitch (1024x1024 / 15 micron pitch), the latest results of MCT VLWIR technology for sounding applications and new MCT infrared detectors for earth observation.

Gerard Destefanis, research director at CEA-Leti, will take a close look at the exceptional physical properties of MCT in his presentation on “Recent Progress in MCT detectors in France”. Large Focal Plane Arrays (FPA) with small pitches can be achieved in a large variety of cut-off wavelengths, such as SWIR, MWIR, LWIR, and VLWIR, including the visible. Reducing the pixel pitch is important for increasing resolution and lowering the power consumption. The talk will cover new advanced functions enabled through more complex pixel design. These include multicolor detection with MCT hetero-structures grown by MBE (Molecular Beam Epitaxy), fast and noiseless amplification in the pixel using avalanche photodiodes (APD), or signal processing with smart readout circuit made with advanced foundries.

Sofradir Presentation Schedule

  • Monday, April 29 at 8.10am, convention center 343 “SWIR InGaAs focal plane arrays in France”, by Eric Costard, product line manager at Sofradir
  • Monday, April 29 at 11am, convention center 343 “High Performance and Long-Range Cooled IR Technologies in France”, by Yann Reibel, systems engineer at Sofradir
  • Monday, April 29 at 4.15pm, convention center 343 “A Review of the Latest Developments of MCT Infrared Technology from Visible to VLWIR for Space Applications at Sofradir”, Nicolas Jamin, space projects manager at Sofradir
  • Tuesday, April 30 at 10.50am, convention center 343 “Recent Progress in MCT detectors in France”, by Gerard Destefanis, research director at CEA-Leti

About Sofradir

Sofradir is the number one developer and manufacturer of key classes of infrared (IR) detectors for multiple military, space, commercial and scientific applications. These include thermal imagers, missile seekers, surveillance systems, machine vision, targeting systems or observation satellites. It specializes in cooled IR detectors based on a sophisticated high performance technology, Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) to which Indium Antimonide (InSb), Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) and Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) technologies are now added. Its vast product portfolio of scanning and staring arrays covers the entire infrared spectrum, from near infrared to very far infrared.

Sofradir's headquarters are located in Châtenay-Malabry, near Paris, France. Its manufacturing facilities and those of ULIS, its subsidiary manufacturing mass volume uncooled IR detectors, are located in Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble, France. Sofradir EC, the company’s US subsidiary, operates in Fairfield, NJ. In 2012, annual sales for the Sofradir Group, which includes subsidiaries ULIS and Sofradir EC, reached over EUR 150M, representing two-thirds in exports. Sofradir, ULIS and Sofradir EC employ more than 650 people. For more information, visit:


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