Sofradir sensors part of HAYABUSA-2 space mission

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Sofradir, a leading developer of key classes of advanced infrared detectors for military, space and industrial applications, is proud to be part of the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) space mission HAYABUSA-2 which has been successfully launched this Wednesday December 3rd from Tanegashima space center by a Japanese rocket. HAYABUSA-2 probe will reach mid-2018 the asteroid "1999 JU3", and will drop the MASCOT lander on the asteroid surface for in-situ analysis thanks to MicrOmega instrument. The mission will end in 2020 with precious asteroid ground samples being retrieved to Earth. 

Sofradir’s NEPTUNE detector is implemented into the MicrOmega IR microscope developed by IAS (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale at Orsay, France) with the support of CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, the French space agency). Thanks to its 30μm pitch 500x256 format HgCdTe array sensitive from Short Wave to low Mid Wave Infrared, the NEPTUNE hyperspectral detector will image the asteroid ground over 365 spectral bandwidths between 0.95μm and 3.65 μm, enabling to determine its composition (mineral, organic, water).

Sofradir developed NEPTUNE detector more than ten years ago as an answer to the space-based and airborne hyperspectral or spectrometry applications.

"Sofradir is extremely proud to be part of this new deep space science mission that will surely excite every citizen and not only scientific teams, as we have lately witnessed with the ongoing ROSETTA mission", said Philippe Bensussan, Sofradir Chairman and CEO. "This attests to Sofradir’s increasing technological leadership in producing reliable and high performance IR products for space applications."