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Progress in the Development of Field Programmable Analog Arrays for Space Applications

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5 Author(s)
Stoica, A. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA ; Keymeulen, D. ; Mojarradi, M. ; Zebulum, R.
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Development of analog electronic solutions for space avionics is expensive and lengthy. Lack of flexible analog devices, counterparts to digital field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), prevents analog designers from benefits of rapid prototyping. This forces them to expensive and lengthy custom design, fabrication, and qualification of application specific integrated circuits (ASIC). The limitations come from two directions: first, commercial field programmable analog arrays (FPAA) have very limited variability in the components offered on-chip (practically one type of operational amplifiers/comparator per chip); and second, these are only qualified for best case scenarios for military grade (-55degC to +125degC). However, analog circuitry required for sensing and control involves a larger variability. Moreover, in order to avoid huge overheads in mass, energy and wiring, there is a growing trend towards avoiding thermal and radiation protection by developing extreme environment electronics. This means electronics that maintain correct operation while exposed to temperature extremes e.g., on Moon (-180degC to +125degC). This paper describes a recent FPAA design, the self-reconfigurable analog array (SRAA) that was developed at JPL. It overcomes both limitations, offering a variety of analog cells inside the array together with the possibility of self-correction at extreme temperatures.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2008 IEEE

Date of Conference:

1-8 March 2008