Aviation

Radiation in aviation originates from high energy cosmic ray interactions high up in the atmosphere, and includes a complex mix of particles such as protons, neutrons, pions, gammas, covering a wide range of energies. Special design considerations have to be implemented in aviation control systems to mitigate against the effects of these particles, especially single event effects (SEE) such as electronic upsets, transients and latches. For example, in avionic control systems, more than 30% of the computation power available is used to ensure fault tolerance. A big challenge in the industry is to avoid further power increases while at the same time integrating more complex and radiation sensitive electronic components and systems. An analysis performed by Airbus Group showed that today 20% to 50% of the equipment removal for unscheduled maintenance are classified as “No Fault Found” (NFF) and have concluded around 10% are due to radiation effects. Each unscheduled removal has a significant cost impact.