Radiation Hardness Assurance


Understanding Space Radiation Effects and Testing Strategies

Michael Wind1, Peter Beck1, Christoph Tscherne1, Valentin Wagner1, Lukas Huber1, Marcin Latocha1

1 Seibersdorf Labor GmbH, Austria



Semiconductor devices are an integral part of our world and are used in analog and digital applications on Earth and in space because they are cheap, small, fast, lightweight, and provide high functionality. However, their use in radiation environments - as is the case with space applications - can have serious consequences that may affect the performance of devices and systems in terms of correct functioning, service life and even destruction of the electronic components and/or systems used and therefore represent a risk for any space mission. Many findings on these phenomena have been compiled and documented in the literature (e.g. [1] - [5]). This presentation will give an overview on the main types of radiation effects that may occur in electronics when exposed to various radiation sources. 

When designing a specific application, knowledge of the radiation sensitivity of the parts used is crucial to ensure a successful mission or at least to reduce the risk of failure. Therefore, testing may be required to gain adequate knowledge of their sensitivity to a given radiation environment [6]. This presentation will give an overview on test strategies and will also give an overview on the most relevant test standards.



[1]     A. Holmes-Siedle, L. Adams, Handbook of radiation effects, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2002 

[2]     Proceedings of the Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference (NSREC) Conference, published yearly in the December issue of IEEE-Trans. Nucl. Sci 

[3]     Proceedings of the Radiation Effects on Components and Systems (RADECS) Conference, published yearly by IEEE. 

[4]     C. Tscherne, et. al., Testing of COTS Operational Amplifier in the Framework of the ESA CORHA Study, RADECS REDW 2020, 10.1109/RADECS50773.2020.9857692 

[5]     M. Wind, et. al. Testing of COTS Multiplexer in the Framework of the ESA CORHA Study., RADECS REDW 2021, DOI: 10.1109/RADECS53308.2021.9954531
[6]     ECSS-Q-ST-60-15C, Space product assurance, Radiation hardness assurance, EEE components, ECSS Secretariat, ES-ESTEC, Requirements & Standards Division, October 2012

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