The radiation environment encountered at high-energy accelerators is composed of a mixed field expected made of charged and neutral hadrons (protons, pions, kaons and neutrons), photons, electrons and muons, ranging from very low (thermal) energies up to the TeV range. Electronic components and systems exposed to a mixed radiation field can suffer from Single Event Effects (SEEs), damage from Total Ionizing Dose (TID) and Displacement Damage (DD).
For the CERN accelerator sector, the control and the functioning of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) requires many systems and equipment partly to be installed in radiation areas, such as power converters providing up to 13 kA current to the super conducting magnets, safety and monitoring electronics, actuators for discharging the superconducting coils, pumps for creating the required vacuum conditions in the beam pipe, in the magnets, and in the helium distribution line, cryogenic systems to reach the temperatures down to a few Kelvin, and many others.
Moreover, depending on the functionality, each system is replicated up to several thousands of times along the LHC and its injections lines, thus amplifying even low failure rates in terms of their possible impact to the accelerator operation.
COTS based systems can be installed in tunnel areas but require a respective radiation tolerant design and dedicated radiation test program. In this talk the strategy, the choices and the radiation hardness assurance procedure implemented at CERN on COTS components will be presented.