The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will be conducting the Global Change Observation Mission
(GCOM) for monitoring of global environmental change. SGLI (Second Generation Global Imager) is an optical sensor
on board GCOM-C (Climate), that includes a Long Wave IR Detector (LWIRD) sensitive up to about 13 μm. SGLI will
provide high accuracy measurements of the atmosphere (aerosol, cloud ...), the cryosphere (glaciers, snow, sea ice ...),
the biomass and the Earth temperature (sea and land).
Sofradir is a major supplier of Space industry based on the use of a Space qualified MCT technology for detectors from
0.8 to 15 μm. This mature and reproducible technology has been used for 15 years to produce thousands of LWIR
detectors with cut-off wavelengths between 9 and 12 μm.
NEC Toshiba Space, prime contractor for the Second Generation Global Imager (SGLI), has selected SOFRADIR for its
heritage in space projects and Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) detectors to develop the LWIR detector.
This detector includes two detection circuits for detection at 10.8 μm and 12.0 μm, hybridized on a single CMOS readout
circuit. Each detection circuit is made of 20x2 square pixels of 140 μm. In order to optimize the overall performance,
each pixel is made of 5x5 square sub-pixels of 28 μm and the readout circuit enables sub-pixel deselection. The MCT
material and the photovoltaic technology are adapted to maximize response for the requested bandwidths: cut-off
wavelengths of the 2 detection circuits are 12.6 and 13.4 μm at 55K. This detector is packaged into a sealed housing for
full integration into a Dewar at 55K.
This paper describes the main technical requirements, the design features of this detector, including trade-offs regarding
performance optimization, and presents preliminary electro-optical results.