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Single-event effects experienced by astronauts and microelectronic circuits flown in space

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1 Author(s)
P. J. McNulty ; Dept. of Phys. & Astron., Clemson Univ., SC, USA

Models developed for explaining the light flashes experienced by astronauts on Apollo and Skylab missions were used with slight modification to explain upsets observed in microelectronic circuits. Both phenomena can be explained by the simple assumption that an event occurs whenever a threshold number of ionizations or isomerizations are generated within a sensitive volume. Evidence is consistent with the threshold being sharp in both cases, but fluctuations in the physical stimuli lead to a gradual rather than sharp increase in cross section with LET. Successful use of the model requires knowledge of the dimensions of the sensitive volume and the value of threshold. Techniques have been developed to determine these SEU parameters in modern circuits

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 2 )