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Radiation Damage to Satellite Electronic Systems

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1 Author(s)
Rogers, S.C. ; Sandia Corporation Albuquerque, New Mexico

Space radiation can cause damage to satellite electronic systems. The amount of damage can be determined if the radiation induced component changes are known and if the behavior of the electronic system as a function of component changes can be determined. By relating space radiation damage to neutron damage, a large amount of semiconductor device data becomes available for satellite damage predictions. To obtain circuit and system performance from component performance in an economical way analysis is combined with experimental techniques. The experimental technique involves substitution of radiation degraded components into the circuit and measurement of its performance. The application of such techniques to satellite electronics indicates that performance degradation caused by lifetime reduction resulting from space radiation can generally be kept small, particularly, if modern high frequency transistors are used. However, ionization of the semiconductor environment from the artificial electron belt may cause significant surface effects resulting in a reduction in device performance even for shielding of several gm/cm2.

Published in:

Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 1 )