Radiation Hardness Assurance

Radiation Environment and Exposure of CubeSat Missions


Giovanni Santin1, Hugh Evans1


Space missions are exposed to a range of hostile environments, which can limit part, unit or system reliability, and whose combined and often synergistic effects need to be addressed in hardness assurance processes. For the radiation element, environment specification and shielding analyses are a pre-requisite for detailed calculation of degradation and single event effects in electronic components, and in recent years significant effort has been put R&D aiming at understanding of the underlying physics phenomena, improving the prediction capability of our models and assessing their uncertainties.

In the lecture, an introduction to established and new models for the (external) space radiation environment experienced near Earth shall be followed by a discussion of the radiation environment encountered by satellites along orbits often used for CubeSats. A basic introduction will be provided to the mechanisms by which radiation interacts with satellite structures and components, inducing performance degradation and single events, and to tools made available to the community for simple and detailed radiation analyses. Typical exposure to total dose and single event effects for CubeSat scenarios will be compared to other Earth orbits and will put in context with the challenges brought by ambitious deep space exploration programmes, including  Jupiter missions or planetary habitats.