FAIRFIELD, N.J., 29 Jan. 2009.Sofradir-EC introduced the Epsilon compact thermal imager. It is a one-quarter VGA format infrared detector featuring 15-micron pixels. Roughly half the size and weight of previous generation systems, Epsilon is aimed at a number of applications, including battery powered hand-held systems, night-vision goggles (NVGs), and small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) payloads.
"Epsilon gives systems engineers the ability to leverage MCT array's high quantum efficiency, which results in much small f3.0 optics and warm operating temperature, which can greatly increase a systems mean-time between failure," says Chris Alicandro, director of sales at Sofradir-EC. "We expect Epsilon will find its way into many military electro optical systems in the near future.
Epsilon joins the larger Scorpio (640x512) and Jupiter (1280x1024) array family of 15 micron based products. The products use Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) technology for cooled IR systems.
High QE cooled focal plane arrays provide better performance over microbolometers, but traditionally have paid a penalty in terms of size, weight, and power consumption, Sofradir-EC officials say. Sofradir's advanced small pixel technology combined with a small rotary cooler has reduced the power consumption to only 2W – almost as low as the requirements of microbolometers.
Smaller batteries and a lighter, more compact system translate into reduced fatigue for hand held/NVG operators, flexible integration for system builders, and greater payload options for small UAVs."