European Defence Fund pours $18 million into home-grown infrared sensing tech

The funding for the EU-wide HEROIC infrared IC project has been signed off for delivery by 10 European contractors, led by Grenoble-based Lynred. [Image credit: US Department of Defense.]
European Defence Fund pours $18 million into home-grown infrared sensing tech

An €18 million funding allocation from the EU's European Defence Fund (EDF) has been awarded to Grenoble-based startup Lynred and nine others to deliver next gen infrared sensor supply chains within European borders.

Lynred is leading a 10-partner consortium across Europe to conduct infrared R&D over the next four years, as part of a grand collaboration known as HEROIC (high-performance read-out integrated circuits.)

The overall spend is likely to total €19 million, Lynred says. In terms of delivery, it envisages "post-2030" defence systems will benefit from superior CMOS in integrated circuits to execute short-wave infrared imaging, among a host of advanced IR applications.

Crucially, these systems will come from within the EU. Next generation infrared is considered a multi-spectral and highly-configurable array for imaging focal planes.

Infrared typically picks up wavelengths in thermal radiation. Sensors for detecting infrared radiation underpins military surveillance ranging from satellites to night vision goggles to missile targeting systems.

The next generation of infrared is anticipated to examine radiation at a far greater range than at present and with superior fidelity, enabling quicker framerates and a possible advantage in combat.

David Billon-Lanfrey, chief strategy officer at Lynred, commented: "Lynred is proud to collaborate on this game-changing project aimed at securing European industrial sovereignty in the design and supply of IR sensors.

"This project represents the first phase for European IR manufacturers to gain access to a superior CMOS technology compatible with various IR detectors and 2D/3D architectures, and equally importantly, make it available within a robust EU supply chain.”

The other consortium members include German infrared maker AIM and Belgium's Xenics and also four system integrators: Indra (Spain), Miltech Hellas (Greece), Kongsberg (Norway) and PCO (Poland.)

The consortium is filled out by Norway's Ideas, an integrated circuits maker, in addition to University of Seville in Spain and the French research institution CEA-Leti.

Paul Ryckaert, CEO of Xenics, added: "Xenics sees the HEROIC project as a cornerstone for its strategy of SWIR development for defence applications.

"Thanks to this project, the consortium partners will shape the future of European CMOS developments and technologies for IR sensors.”"

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