Radiation Hardness Assurance


Rad-E4Space: a new radiation simulation tool

Katrina Elsey

ALTER France



In a world where the space sector is accelerating, it can be difficult to keep up. Timescales are getting shorter, yet the environment challenges spacecraft face are still very much present. It is crucial to not cut corners regarding environment effects, especially with the rise of the widescale use of COTS devices on spacecraft. Indeed, these parts were not built for this purpose so extra precautions must be taken.

One solution, would be to meticulously test every single device for radiation and only use the ones which prove to be overly resistant. However, this is not realistic for many reasons, one of them being the cost.

A smarter solution, is to use simulation resources. For many years, humans have been sending radiation detecting equipment into space giving us good knowledge on the location and abundance of each type of particle. Scientists and engineers have used this information to create tools to simulate a satellite on its orbit in space. The existing simulation tools are very powerful but can be overwhelming and timely to use if your job is not actively evolved around radiation effects.

At ALTER, we are specialized in radiation effects, from testing to simulation. We noticed the need for a simpler simulation tool, so we developed one. This presentation will introduce you to Rad-E4Space, a tool designed with simplicity and user friendliness in mind. It aims to allow any user to rapidly obtain an evaluation of the radiation effects on their components in orbit.


I would like to acknowledge Philippe Calvel, senior radiation export, who has provided his support both throughout my training and to the ALTER radiation engineering and software department.