Sofradir has delivered 24 ShortWave IR (SWIR) detectors to Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) for the European Space Agency (ESA) Sentinel-2 land monitoring and food security studies mission. ADS provided two MultiSpectral Imagers (MSI) for the Sentinel-2 mission that offer high-resolution IR optical imagery. They will provide high-resolution optical imaging to monitor the Earth and thereby provide continuity for the SPOT and Landsat missions.
The MSI will measure the Earth's reflected radiance in 13 spectral bands from the visible (440nm) to SWIR (2190nm). To meet the requirements of the space mission, 12 of Sofradir‘s SWIR detectors are on board the Sentinel-2A satellite that launched earlier today. The remaining 12 devices are assigned to the Sentinel 2B satellite, planned to launch in 2016.
Large format SWIR detectors (1,200 x 3 effective lines & 15μm pitch) are highly complex devices that only a handful of manufacturers in the world can produce to space-grade standards. Sofradir is the sole European manufacturer to have its IR detectors deployed in space. Over the past decade, Sofradir has delivered close to 70 IR detector flight models for space programmes.
Philippe Chorier, Space Department Director, Sofradir, commented: “Sofradir’s lengthening track record in space missions, the maturity of its technology and unfailing performance of its IR detectors in extreme conditions fulfil the criteria that space agencies and equipment makers seek from suppliers. We are proud to participate in this ESA space mission. It is an honour to provide our customers with reliable imaging technology in the pursuit of scientific knowledge concerning the Earth’s vegetation and waterways.”