Pipe-dream or reality? Ion-beam testing without de-capping.

One of the recurring challenges for electronics used in space applications is ensuring that they will have the required robustness to operate for the duration of the mission despite the high radiation levels. Consumer-off-the-shelf (COTS) parts offer the widest...

What is particle LET?

There are high levels of radiation in space – primarily electrons, protons, and heavier ions. When an energetic particle travels through matter such as silicon, it suffers numerous interactions that extract some of its kinetic energy. The energy lost as the...

What’s so great about single controlled baseline lots?

In commercial integrated-circuit production flows, to achieve the lowest possible cost for a particular product, the yield is maximized and fab loading optimized to ensure a reliable and economical product supply chain. Planners typically distribute the fabrication of...

Making the grade: From COTS to full space-grade

“Traditional space” programs are typified by larger spacecraft using a preponderance of high-quality, space-qualified components with expensive/irreplaceable mission payloads and the “failure is not an option” design mantra. In contrast small-satellite missions...

All that glitters… is not gold!

In many commercial integrated circuits (ICs), gold is used as a bond wire material to form the electrical connections between package pins and IC pads and to plate most of the metal lids used to seal ICs inside ceramic packages. In many space-rated ICs, aluminum wire...