Space

Ionising radiation in space originates from high energy cosmic rays (mainly proton and alpha particles) and the sun (mainly protons and electrons), which can provide challenging operational environments for microelectronic and biological systems. The effects of radiation on space instrumentation includes: long term cumulative ionising dose effects; electrostatic charging; single event effects. Space weather radiation can also have a major impact on spacecraft and satellites, potentially catastrophic. For critical space missions requiring low risk of failure, it is crucial to design radiation resilient systems. For low earth orbit communication satellites and cubesats, the use of commercial of the shelf (COTS) components leads to enormous cost savings, but with higher risks of failure. It has been estimated that radiation induced anomalies in low earth orbit satellites account for 90% of all operational problems. The testing and qualification of COTS in irradiation facilities is recommended.