Radiation Effects and Implications for the Use of Commercial Components in Space


L. Adams (2000), JBIS53, 79-81

Refcode: 2000.53.79

The use of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) components is becoming increasingly common in space technology. The main driver is the Low Earth Orbit constellations of commercial satellites. Current industry estimates indicate that 70% of the satellites launched between 1999 and 2008 will be commercial. Commercial satellite operators would like to use COTS, including Plastic Encapsulated Microcircuits (PEMS) for reasons of high performance, low cost and good availability. However, COTS components are not designed for use in the space radiation environment and techniques must be developed to quantify the risk and mitigate radiation effects. This paper will describe the types of radiation effects to be expected in space, the difficulties in characterizing commercial components for radiation effects and describe various mitigation techniques.