DOTA - Optics and Associated Techniques

Research units



Optronic components and instruments (CIO)

CIO's mission is to design, integrate and deploy instruments for infrared optoelectronics.


  • Uses electro-optical characterisation benches for the physical analysis of photodetectors, fulfilling an expert role for the DGA and offering guidance to business and industrial channels
  • Maintains constant technology watch over the latest advances in infrared photodetection (in collaboration with the main stakeholders in the field, nationally and internationally)
  • Exploits the properties of nanotechnologies to design new optoelectronic components that are at once complex, compact and energy-efficient, enabling the emergence of game-changing technologies


Calibration and production of optical instruments and measurements (ERIO)

ERIO designs, produces, integrates, characterises and deploys infrared instruments, whether developed commercially or in-house. The instruments and integrations are adapted according to the needs of the defence, civil or research clients.


High angular resolution (HRA)

HRA is tasked with studying and developing methods and instruments for approaching the diffraction limit, despite progressive aberrations. This concerns adaptive optics (AO), active optics, multi-pupil instruments and interferometry, the associated digital processing of images, and the characterisation of optical propagation through turbulent media.


Wave-materials interaction and laser systems for direct detection and imaging (IODI)

IODI conducts research focusing on physical imaging by laser i.e. laser systems for imaging and remote detection. Its scope of research is divided into two broad fields of application:

  • The diagnostic and optical characterisation of scattering media: improving the characterisation of aerosols, managing the optronic signatures of dense scattering media and surface materials
  • Active perception: recognising, identifying and navigating further, through the contribution of high resolution and/or 3D perception offered by the use of lasers.


Physical modelling of the optronic scene (MPSO)

MPSO is tasked with prediction of signals likely to be observed by current or future optronic sensors. This mission is divided into three objectives:

  • Predicting the impact of the environment on the performance of sensors
  • Managing threat signatures and their uncertainty
  • Capitalising models and signatures

MPSO is developing the MATISSE software, which is the benchmark atmospheric radiative transfer code for the DGA.


Modelling of optronic mechanisms and associated validations (MVA)

MVA assesses the performance of optronic systems, models transfer phenomena in heterogeneous environments and the infrared and visible signature of aircraft and of targets outside the atmosphere. The objective is to perfectly control the involved physical processes, the computer simulation and the associated validation methodologies in order to best meet the needs of research. MVA is also active in the development of means for gathering airborne data (SETHI, BUSARD...).


Optical properties of scenes (POS)

POS develops skills and know-how in passive optical remote detection and in physics of measurement, for the needs of defence, security, research and the environment. Its work consists in acquiring and deploying ground and airborne measurement resources (aircraft and UAV), and developing methods for characterising the spectral and bio-physical optical properties of scenes in high spatial resolution.


Laser source and lidar systems(SLS)

SLS' objective is to design and produce innovative laser systems for aeronautical, space, defence and environment applications. The research mainly concerns:

  • Measuring air speed ("wind lidar")
  • Measuring gas concentration and flow
  • Dynamics of mobile targets (speed, distance)
  • Laser weapons

Furthermore, its particular skills mean that SLS is involved in active imaging (fibre laser) and optical telecommunications (coherent detection, fibre lasers).