tech track papers
The lowering of the cost of access to space while maintaining mission assurance is something everyone is interested in from system integrators to funding agencies and commercial customers. Engineers at Curtiss-Wright have developed an innovative approach to lowering the costs of achieving space mission objectives by developing in-situ radiation induced latch-up protection of existing non-space COTS electronics boards for spacecraft avionics applications. Some spacecraft designers fear using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics components and systems because of susceptibility to radiation-induced failure and low reliability. The result is often an expensive custom solution using specialised components making access to space more costly. This paper discusses an innovative technology called the “Smart Backplane” that enables the use of existing low-cost COTS electronics boards in space and mitigates the risks while maintaining the required levels of mission assurance. The “Smart Backplane” approach provides an active electronic safety net to protect against radiation induced damage at the electronics module/board level. It makes the use of high performance COTS device technology viable while dramatically lowering the costs of achieving space mission objectives (by up to 75%). The “Smart Backplane” technology provides spacecraft avionics system designers with a cost-effective way to use today’s highest performance COTS electronics in mission critical applications, something that was once considered impossible. The results of the radiation tests used to validate the “Smart Backplane” approach COTS equipment level will be presented and we will discuss where this innovative technology has been selected for future mission critical launcher and manned spaceflight applications.
Author: Daniel GleesonTopic: Space Technology Innovation
The Smart Backplane – Lowering the Cost of Spacecraft Avionics by Improving the Radiation Tolerance of COTS Electronic SystemsDownload File