SWIRup at a glance

Developing affordable infrared image sensors for space missions

High-resolution earth observation

Upper band of Short-Wave Infrared

European consortium of optoelectronic and instrumentation experts (EU H2020 program)

SWIRup is a European Commission H2020 project aimed at image sensors for high-resolution earth observation missions in the upper band of shortwave infrared (SWIR).
We are developing image sensor for light with wavelengths upto 2.5 µm, as an alternative to the HgCdTe N/P sensors currently used in these missions. The new SWIRup sensor is to achieve a high operating temperature.
This means that the sensor will not require cryogenic cooling, which has so far been essential for image sensors in the upper band of SWIR. Eliminating cryogenic cooling from these sensors will bring significant improvements, in terms of miniaturization and/or increased functionality of the optical payloads.
To operate without cryogenic cooling, the SWIRup sensor is based on III-V semiconductor materials formed by alternate layers of InGaAs and GaAsSb. This is often termed InGaAs/GaAsSb superlattice and is lattice-matched to InP substrates.
In addition to developing sensors based on this new material, we are also improving the design of II-VI HgCdTe-based image sensors to increase their operating temperatures.
As an alternative to existing cryogenically-cooled detectors, the SWIRup sensors will also benefit a diverse range of commercial applications relying on light detection in the upper band of SWIR, Application areas include urban planning, mineral mapping, quality control in food, military target detection, search-and-rescue, micro-plastic detection and classification, medical, and forestry.
These commercial applications utilise hyperspectral imaging systems, which consist of image sensors to detect light signals at different wavelengths including upper band of SWIR.