Radiation Hardness Assurance

Radiation Hardness Assurance and Cubesat: A New Approach for a "New Space"


Laurent Dusseau
University Montpellier, France


During the last few years, the number of launched  cubesats has grown drastically.  Recently more than one hundred cubesats were put in orbit on a single launch. The type of missions has also changed from education to science and then to commercial applications. In this context, there are two main reasons to increase the reliability of cubesats: First, it is necessary to avoid at all cost the production of debris-like cubesats which may result from series of failure in constellations. Second, the impact of radiation induced failures may have an unbearable impact on the project costs. However, considering  the budget for a cubesat project, it is unacceptable to follow the usual RHA process, perform RLAT or even test at device level. A new approach is being investigated at the University of Montpellier, based on precise evaluation of the environment, mitigation and test at system / subsystem level. A series of 1U cubesat missions are currently at different stage of development to collect data and validate the models. Robusta-1B will be launched before the end will evaluate the impact of TID on operational amplifiers in bipolar technology. MTCUBE will measure the error rates on various types of memories. Finally, Celesta will compare the LEO environment and its effects with the environment simulated in the charm facility at CERN.