One of the more exciting aspects of the emerging new space market is the launch of high-volume low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites that are small and economically feasible, but also radiation-tolerant and reliable. These satellites enable expanded communication and connectivity around the world. Unlike the traditional satellite market, where the majority of missions are in geosynchronous orbit up to 22,236 miles from Earth and expected to last more than 10 years, LEO satellites orbit much closer to Earth, not more than 1,300 miles away. Because they’re relatively easy to replace, they generally have mission lives for less than seven years.
The major challenges in electronic design for LEO satellites – all while meeting strict budgets and maintaining competitiveness – are:
New Space Enhanced Plastic (Space EP) portfolio
TI recently launched a new Space Enhanced Plastic (Space EP) portfolio of products, in addition to its current portfolio of more than 250 Qualified Manufacturers List Class V (QMLV) hermetic-space-grade devices. The Space EP portfolio comprises plastic devices designed for LEO satellites with short mission lives.
For designers new to the space market, there are specific challenges in space that products designed for terrestrial markets do not address, including:
TI’s Space EP qualification process addresses these challenges and removes the need for high-risk upscreening methods sometimes used for this market. Upscreening is the practice of testing a part electrically or environmentally for use outside of datasheet specifications. Upscreening without a full understanding of the “recipe” of a device and its test vectors can lead to field failures and a false sense of security that the satellite will function for the mission duration.
How radiation-assured plastic devices reduce risk
TI’s certified space products enable designers and component engineers to design and qualify their boards without worrying about the specific considerations of satellites in an LEO space environment. Some of the considerations that Space EP products address are:
Accelerate launch timelines
The quality and reliability in TI Space EP devices enables designers to spin and qualify new designs faster. Within the device product folder on TI.com, we provide all radiation data for the device, optimized for LEO requirements, as well as outgassing data and reliability reports. Using our detailed reports can be a huge cost saver since a significant investment is made in radiation testing, upscreening and accounting for low yield when using COTS products in LEO satellite applications.
Our reports include:
Table 1 lists the six Space EP devices in our portfolio, with more planned in the major functional categories.
Order now at the TI store
TL7700-SEP supply-voltage supervisor
Data sheetRadiation reports
TPS73801-SEP 1-A low-noise, fast transient response low-dropout regulator
TLV1704-SEP 2.2-V-to-36-V radiation-hardened microPower quad comparator
INA240-SEP 80-V, low- or high-side zero-drift current-sense amplifier with enhanced pulse-width modulation rejection
SN55HVD233-SEP 3.3-V Controller Area Network transceiver with standby mode
SN65C1168E-SEP dual differential drivers and receivers with ±8-kV International Electrotechnical Commission electrostatic discharge protection
Table 1: Released Space EP devices
For projects that require qualification to a higher level of reliability or radiation assurance than the Space EP portfolio, TI continues to invest in and offer its portfolio of traditional space products in hermetic packaging.
All content and materials on this site are provided "as is". TI and its respective suppliers and providers of content make no representations about the suitability of these materials for any purpose and disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to these materials, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement of any third party intellectual property right. No license, either express or implied, by estoppel or otherwise, is granted by TI. Use of the information on this site may require a license from a third party, or a license from TI.
TI is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company. Innovate with 100,000+ analog ICs andembedded processors, along with software, tools and the industry’s largest sales/support staff.