Space

Radiation in space originates from high energy cosmic rays (mainly proton and alpha particles) and the sun (mainly protons and electrons). Both provide challenging operational environments for microelectronic and biological systems. Designing radiation resilient electronic systems is crucial in space applications as repair and maintenance is rarely possible. It has been estimated that radiation induced anomalies in low earth orbit satellites account for 90% of all operational problems. However, space radiation resilient circuit design with additional control and redundancy has significant cost implications and there’s strong motivation to find cheaper COTS solutions. But the wider use of COTS technologies implies a more stringent radiation testing procedures to demonstrate their suitability for space applications. Possible mitigation strategies include careful shielding design to reduce the impact of radiation.