The MCT cooled IR technology uses a silicon-like photodiode implantation process that is effective at controlling pixel diodes. The company's highly accurate iridium bump positioning process affords the flexibility to enhance image resolution by fitting more pixels on existing IR chips or develop smaller ones for overall IR system cost-savings.
Applications for the enhanced technology include IR search-and-track systems, targeting and reconnaissance pods, and long-range surveillance.
The company expects the new technique to enable a single production line to make short-, medium-, long- and very-long-wave detectors. New detector products that run at higher temperatures are in the works.
Sofradir is also becoming a top choice for satellite and space missions. In 2010 the company delivered 26 detectors for space programs, and last year was selected to deliver custom IR detectors for Europe's Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellite constellation, a manufacturing contract led by Thales Alenia Space of France. The detectors will be integrated into two payloads: the Flexible Combined Imager to take IR images of clouds and the infrared Sounder to analyze the chemical composition of the atmosphere versus altitude. A total of six satellites will be launched under the program, with Sofradir developing six different types of detectors and delivering up to 24 flight models for the MTG program.
The company is also developing IR detectors for the engineering and flight units of the Musis/CSO next-generation Earth-observation optical and infrared military satellites designed to replace the Helios 2A and 2B constellation. It will also provide shortwave infrared detectors for the Tropomi/Sentinel 5 Precursor mission as part of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative.