Device-ALab, the French specialist of high-performance uncooled infrared cameras, and ONERA (Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales), the French national aerospace research centre, have signed an agreement to collaborate on design, characterisation, and implementation of TEC-less infrared cameras.

Device-ALab and ONERA’s partnership started in 2014 as a customer-vendor-relationship. Several units of Device-ALab’s high-performance thermal camera cores (LWIR, TEC-less) have been purchased to enhance the arsenal of instruments ONERA daily operates for ground or airborne experiments. Since then new topics have emerged, and it makes sense to turn this valuable partnership into a structured cooperation.

ONERA’s prominence and outstanding expertise has already benefitted Device-ALab with objective critics on existing cameras and reporting of practical market needs, feeding the global roadmap. Conversely, Device-ALab’s products modularity contributes to ONERA reactivity and costs reduction to set up infrared imaging experiments. With these standard uncooled devices, ONERA can proceed within optimal time frame with its own internal means for live demonstrations and/or proof of concept, enabling early stage validation of the technical feasibility for both fundamental and applied research.

The agreement was signed during SIAE 2019 and is designed to frame the cooperation on new topics that ONERA and Device-ALab have already identified. They will entail faster advances in uncooled infrared camera cores and related electro-optical systems in areas including industry, defense, and space.

ONERA Directeur Technique Général Thierry Michal said: “This agreement is a natural move from an existing win-win relation between our teams and Device-ALab’s into a lasting collaboration between R&D and business partners.

“Whereas Device-ALab demonstrated flexibility to help ONERA to serve a wide span of applications, it is also ONERA’s mission to support innovation in high tech SMEs. This new co-working frame is an opportunity to accelerate innovation in uncooled infrared technology and to value the expertise of our teams”.

Device-ALab CEO Daravan Ly added: “I am delighted we have signed this agreement, which will enable the development of new infrared SwAP solutions. At Device-ALab, we always consider our clients as partners, but the relation with ONERA has always been very special: the level of expertise, the arsenal of equipment, together with a practical approach are valuable assets that enable us to address topics we could not address alone.

“This agreement shall speed up innovation pace for both parties and ultimately strengthen technological sovereignty, an argument of major importance across civilian and military markets”

Device-ALab and ONERA have set up a management Committee to oversee this new initiative, tasked with developing the cooperation strategy and overseeing developments in each of the targeted subjects.

About Device-ALab, an EU-based supplier for high-end camera cores

Based in Grenoble, France, Device-Alab is a supplier of uncooled infrared OEM camera cores. The company differentiates through high performance SwAP subsystems, capable of framerate up to 120 Hz and/or megapixel resolution.

The company is structured to address small to middle volumes of standard / custom products in the defense, security, industry, and healthcare markets, as well as leisure and smart cities.

Clients typically include equipment manufacturers and device makers. Team knowledge roots in decades at Thomson-TCS, Atmel & E2V in development of electronic subsystems for imaging (industrial cameras, X-ray sensors) and data conversion (DAC-ADC development kits).

About ONERA, the French aerospace research centre

ONERA, a central player in aeronautics and space research, employs approximately 1,950 people. Under the supervision of the Ministry of the Armed Forces, it has a budget of €236m, with more than half coming from commercial contracts.

As a government expert, ONERA prepares tomorrow’s defense, meets future aerospace challenges and contributes to the competitiveness of the aerospace industry. It masters all of the disciplines and technologies in the field.

All major civil and military aerospace programs in France and Europe include some of ONERA’s DNA: Ariane, Airbus, Falcon, Rafale, missiles, helicopters, engines, radars, and so on. Its researchers, who are internationally recognised and have often received awards, train many doctoral students.