For now more than 10 years, Sofradir is involved in 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
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 detector 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
- the extension of the detector sensitivity down to UV spectral range
- the development of a large format Readout Integrated Circuit (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. Finally, main applications of this kind of detectors and expected spatial missions will be presented.