Lynred to design next generation satellite multispectral sensor

Lynred to design next generation satellite multispectral sensor

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Lynred in France has won the contract to design an advanced multispectral sensor and detector for ESA’s Sentinel-2 NG mission.

Lynred in Grenoble will design the multispectral sensor and detector for satellites gathering imagery on land surface features and landscape patterns using visible and infrared sensing to support farming and forestry, as well as for climate and disaster protection.
The multispectral sensor will be used for the Sentinel-2 Next-Generation (NG) land monitoring satellite mission and the continuation of the Sentinel-2 mission by the European Space Agency (ESA), as part of the European Commission Copernicus NG programme.

Lynred is contracted for the pre-development of Phase A/B1 of the next-generation project. It will design a multispectral infrared detector to meet Sentinel-2 NG’s requirements for improved performance at the system level to achieve a higher level of survey accuracy. These parameters include shortening the ground sample distance and adding new spectral bands.

The first prototype is due in 2026 for satellites launching from 2030. These will provide better land surface resolution of 5m in visible spectrum and 10m in the IR spectrum, up from 10m and  20m respectively for Sentinel 2.

The multispectral sensor will consist of five or six detection lines. Each line has a format of around 2,000 pixels at a 15-micron pitch (meaning a detector of about 3cm long for each spectral line). The project covers the design of the entire detector to include the Readout Integrated Circuit (ROIC), the detection circuit based on Mercury Cadmium Telluride, a semiconductor material that will be hybridized to the ROIC to produce the infrared detector. It also includes the design of space-grade packaging to fit the infrared detector into the S2 NG satellite payload.

“Sentinel-2 NG is a challenging and exciting project. Lynred is very proud to have been selected to participate in the development of the new generation of satellites for this extraordinary land monitoring mission,” said Philippe Chorier, space business development manager at Lynred. “Our long track record in space missions is testimony to the unfailing performance of our infrared detectors in extreme conditions and in our ability to fulfill the stringent criteria of space agencies.”
Lynred has already developed and manufactured infrared detectors for the Sentinel-2 mission, with satellites Sentinel 2A and 2B launched in 2015 and 2017 respectively and Sentinel 2C and 2D, expected to launch in the near future.

In parallel with the challenge of designing a new high-end multispectral IR detector with increased performance requirements for the pre-development phase, Lynred must also address the industrial process to manufacture these detectors in volume quantities.

“Whereas in the previous Sentinel-2 mission, Lynred delivered tens of flight models over several years, Sentinel-2 NG has heightened the industrial stakes, requiring the delivery of more units within half the time. With our industrial capacity and experience, Lynred is well equipped to deliver at an accelerated mode,” added Chorier.


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