Line scan detectors used in ESA earth observation satellite
LASER COMPONENTS has been working with Xenics, a manufacturer of array detectors that span the short wave infrared region of the spectrum (SWIR). Xenics is based in a factory in Leuven, Belgium and supplies detectors for use in optical coherence tomography, spectroscopy and microscopy.
The line scan detectors manufactured by Xenics use InGaAs technology and are offered in three resolutions 512, 1924 and 2,048 pixels. The units have very high line rates up to 400kHz, low power consumption and a typical array length of 25.6mm.
Xenics’s products are being used in multi spectral imaging instruments in an ESA earth observation satellite providing information on clouds, humidity and general atmospheric conditions. The SWIR channels are mainly used for snow and cloud discrimination and to make a distinction between snow and ice particles within clouds.
Another application where Xenics has worked closely with ESA is on a satellite mission to map crop and vegetation patterns across the globe. Low power consumption and high reliability are absolute requirements for these space based applications.