For the last ten years, SOFRADIR space activity has considerably grown and strengthened relying on 25 years of experience in development and production of 2nd and 3rd generation MCT (Mercury Cadmium Telluride) infrared detectors. Indeed, around 60 persons are now full-time involved in IRFPAs development and/or manufacturing for space applications.
ECLAIRs is an X and gamma-rays wide-field coded mask camera onboard the Chinese-French
mission SVOM (Space-based multi-wavelength Variable Objects Monitor) that is dedicated to
study Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). SVOM is due to be launched in 2015 in a low Earth orbit (630
km circular orbit with 30° inclination) for a three years duration. SVOM is designed to operate
"a la SWIFT" in order to provide fast and accurate GRB positions to ground-based and space
facilities, thanks to the combined use of ECLAIRs and 2 narrow-field instruments covering the Xrays
and the optical.
Within this strategy, ECLAIRs will play a key role since it is the instrument responsible for the
detection and the first localization of GRBs in near real time.
One of the primary goals of the mission is to study high redshift (z>6) GRBs that may appear as
very soft events in Gamma-rays. For this reason, ECLAIRs is designed to have an increased
sensitivity in the X-rays, when compared to previous equivalent instruments, thanks to a low
energy threshold of 4 keV.
In this talk we present the latest developments of the ECLAIRs design along with the expected
The X- and gamma-ray telescope ECLAIRs onboard the future mission for gamma-ray burst studies
SVOM (Space-based multi-band astronomical Variable Objects Monitor) is foreseen to operate in
orbit from 2014 on. ECLAIRs will provide fast and accurate GRB triggers to other onboard telescopes,
as well as to the whole GRB community, in particular ground-based follow-up telescopes. With its
very low energy threshold ECLAIRs is particularly well suited for the detection of highly redshifted
GRB. ECLAIRs consists of a X- and gamma-ray imaging camera (CXG) observing in a field of view
of 2 sr. The CXG is a 2D-coded mask imager with a 1024 cm2 detection plane made of 80 x 80 CdTe
pixels, sensitive from 4 keV to 250 keV, with imaging capabilities up to about 50 keV and a
localization accuracy better than 10 arcmin.
ECLAIRs includes also a triggering electronics which uses the CXG data and detects GRB as countrate
increases or the appearance of a new source in cyclic sky images. GRB alerts are transmitted to
observers within tens of seconds via a VHF network and all detected photons are available hours later.
In this talk we present the lastest ECLAIRs concepts, with emphasis on the expected performances.
The French instrument ECLAIRs, to be part of the French and Chinese SVOM mission for the study of gamma-ray
bursts (GRBs), will detect bursts between 4 and 250 keV. Its detector plane is an assembly of 200 elementary detection
modules (XRDPIX) equipped with 32 Schottky CdTe detectors, produced by ACRORAD in Japan. The innovative
concept of XRDPIX will enable a 4 keV low-energy threshold to be achieved. After introducing the SVOM payload, the
ECLAIRs instrument and its detector plane, this paper presents the results of the performance evaluation of a first set of
500 detectors, and briefly describes the tests foreseen for the first XRDPIX prototypes.