Indian space agency awards IR contract to Sofradir

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The Indian Space Research Organisation's Space Applications Center in Ahmedabad has awarded Sofradir a two and a half year infrared detector contract.  

Under the contract, Sofradir will develop large format infrared detector prototypes for testing and will deliver numerous flight models. The value of the contract is undisclosed. The detectors will be used for India’s hyperspectral earth observation satellite programme. ISRO focuses on developing capabilities in India to build and launch communication satellites for television broadcast and telecommunications, meteorological satellites, as well as remote sensing satellites for managing natural resources.

Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO at Sofradir said: ‘This is Sofradir’s first contract for flight models with the Space Applications Center. Foremost, it is the outcome of several years’ close cooperation with the IR team at SAC that included delivering IR detectors for ground testing. It is also a result of our growing reputation as a reliable supplier of technically innovative IR detectors that have proven robust performance in space.’

Compared to Sofradir’s Saturn SWIR detectors currently deployed in space instruments, two new innovations will be used for ISRO’s requirements for performance. The first innovation is a new long-life high-power active cooler. This longer-life cooler has been designed to extend the operating lifetime of Saturn SWIR from one to four years. The second innovation involves an integrated custom optical filter that reduces the complexity of optics located in front of the detector.