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April 14, 2016
Sofradir Turns 30, Marks Anniversary at SPIE DCS

Palaiseau, near Paris, France, April 14, 2016 – Sofradir, the global leader in advanced infrared (IR) detectors for military, space and commercial applications, today announces it will mark its 30th anniversary as an industrial pioneer of high performance IR components at the international trade event SPIE DCS.

This year Sofradir will unveil its extended Daphnis MW portfolio featuring the HD version. It is the world’s first HD format midwave IR detector based on the new 10-micron pixel pitch industry standard, which replaces 15-micron pixel pitch generation models. With 1280 x 720 pixels packaged to fit previous platform generations, Daphnis-HD MW enables imaging equipment used in airborne, naval and ground vehicles to achieve longer range, wider field of view and better resolution than previously available. This significantly improves target detection, recognition and identification ranges.

“We are especially pleased to be celebrating 30 years’ growth in the infrared market at SPIE DCS. This is an annual event where we show the strength of our innovations to customers and demonstrate our commitment to excellence and innovation to the photonics community,” said Philippe Bensussan, chairman and CEO of Sofradir. “We congratulate ULIS on achieving delivery of its 500,000th product and look ahead to marking the millionth unit in a few years from now. Most of all, we acknowledge the trust, loyalty and support that our customers have given us over the decades. It is in their honor that we raise our glasses.”

Sofradir will also co-host celebratory cocktails for invitees on Tuesday, April 19 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm, in conjunction with subsidiaries Sofradir EC and ULIS, which make up the Sofradir Group.

ULIS, globally the second largest producer of thermal image sensors for surveillance, thermography, defense and outdoor leisure markets, will mark the delivery of its 500,000th unit. Based in the US, Sofradir EC supplies IR cores and engines and services using Sofradir and ULIS detectors with a focus on Northern-American markets. The Sofradir Group has been exhibiting at SPIE DCS, one of the largest international events for sensing, imaging and photonics technologies for defense, security, industry and the environment, for 30 years.

Sofradir’s IR detectors are at the center of multiple military and space programs and applications: thermal imagers, missile seekers, surveillance systems and targeting systems. Its IR detectors have played a key role in spaceborne earth observation, meteorology and environment monitoring such as Sentinel 2, Tropomi, Hayabusa 2 and more recently ExoMars space programs; these now total over 70 flight models to date.

Sofradir was formed in 1986 through a DGA (the French Defense Procurement Agency) initiative to transfer advanced research in infrared technology developed at the Leti, the leading microelectronics laboratory run by the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), into highly specialized industrial components. Sofradir is a subsidiary of Safran and Thales, which are equal (50/50) shareholders.

Since its founding, Sofradir has experienced double-digit growth at a higher rate than the overall market. The Sofradir Group reported an annual turnover of $244M  (€214M) in 2015.

Sofradir manufactures an average of 7,000 IR detectors per year. The company owns all four cooled main IR technologies, enabling it to cover the whole infrared spectrum and offer the best performing infrared products in each category for all wavelengths from the near visible to the very far infrared. This extensive portfolio, in addition to the top of the range innovations it regularly brings to the market, places Sofradir in a highly enviable and globally competitive position.

About Sofradir
Sofradir is the leading developer and manufacturer of key classes of advanced infrared (IR) detectors for military, space, scientific and industrial applications. Its vast IR product portfolio covers the entire spectrum from visible and near infrared to very far infrared. Sofradir pioneers developments in cooled IR detectors based on a sophisticated high performance technology: Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT), to which Sofradir has added Indium Antimonide (InSb), Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) and Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) technologies. Many of the world’s system makers use Sofradir’s military-grade, battlefield proven IR detectors for missile seekers, targeting pods, armored vehicle sights, handheld thermal imagers and other airborne, naval and ground vehicle applications. Sofradir is the leading European manufacturer for IR detectors deployed in space.
Founded in 1986, Sofradir is headquartered in Palaiseau, near Paris. It carries out research and development as well as high volume manufacturing at two facilities: Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble, and Palaiseau, near Paris. Sofradir owns two subsidiaries: ULIS, a high volume manufacturer of uncooled microbolometers based in Veurey-Voroize and US-based Sofradir-EC, a provider of uncooled and cooled IR imaging cores and engines, located in Fairfield, New Jersey. Together Sofradir, ULIS and Sofradir-EC employ about 800 staff.

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