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Sofradir wins meteorological satellite contract

Sofradir has been awarded a contract of tens of millions of euros to manufacture infrared (IR) detectors for the next generation of European meteorological satellites, MTG. A total of six satellites will be launched under the MTG programme.

Within the scope of the five-year MTG contract headed by European Space Agency (ESA), Sofradir will deliver to Thales Alenia Space France (TAS-F), a manufacturer of satellite and space equipment, custom designed IR detectors. The IR detectors will be integrated in two payloads: the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) to take IR images of clouds and the InfraRed Sounder (IRS) to analyse the chemical composition of the atmosphere versus altitude. They will operate over wavelengths that extend from short wave infrared (SWIR) to very long wave infrared (VLWIR), in order to better identify and measure various types of clouds and chemical elements.

In total, Sofradir will develop six different types of detectors. It will deliver up to 22 flight models for the MTG programme.

‘The Meteosat third generation project is a challenging and exciting project that Sofradir is proud to be part of,’ said Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO at Sofradir.

The ESA contract represents the culmination of several years of work Sofradir has carried out on the MTG programme. It enables Sofradir to progress to the final phase. Sofradir’s first involvement began in 2007, when it participated in the feasibility study in collaboration with CEA/Leti. Sofradir then advanced to the preliminary phase, where it developed IR detectors based on its Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) for testing.


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