The market for the large-scale production of low-cost satellites for supplying the constellations of the New Space initiative promise to have exponential growth. Part of the merit for the emergence of this new philosophy of commercial use of space belongs to the very high integration level of the CMOS technology integrated circuits developed for the consumer electronics applications. These COTS are characterized by the high concentration of functions in very low volume, mass and power consumption. The magic of these components however is compensated by the large number of vulnerabilities they present to the aggressive conditions of the space environment. In this presentation we will show the toolbox of technologies that we are developing at INVAP to compensate for such vulnerabilities and improve the profitability of the missions that use these devices.
The presentation will highlight some of the challenges of a dynamically changing global Space context. In particular, it will focus the attention on recent trends reflecting a new approach to the use and operation of satellites with larger constellations given lower costs and shorter lifetime. The presentation will point the attention on the need for supporting the competitiveness of the European Space sector. The Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, as a guideline of the EU Space Research for 2021-2027, will be presented with particular focus on the chapter covering Space spin-in activities and view on COTS components.
Inmarsat, as the pioneer and world leader in mobile satellite communications, is pleased to see the technological advancements in the manufacturing and use of COTS for space applications. Use of COTS is considered one the enabling technologies for seizing market opportunities and lowering the cost of delivered capacity in-orbit. Consequently, Inmarsat has welcomed warmly satellite manufacturers for use of COTS due to interesting performances combined with lower prices. In May 2019, Inmarsat announced an order with Airbus Defence & Space to build three satellites based on the OneSat design: Airbus’ standard, modular, and fully reconfigurable satellite platform offering a reduced cost and faster time to orbit. Even though Inmarsat is seeing use of COTS positively, classical product assurance principles continue to be practiced and applied and the use of every COTS needs to be approved. in summary, Inmarsat thinks the use of COTS is the path for the future but continues to request assurance in the areas of radiation hardness, reliability, derating and environmental suitability. However, when faced with new unparalleled performances, Inmarsat is open to new thinking and innovative solutions to achieve assurance for space environment.
Small Satellite programs and short-duration missions are often characterized by limited budgets and short schedules, where protecting the precious opportunity for a ride to space on time is critical. In addition, increasing demands for advanced on-orbit capability through innovative technologies drive developers to use OTS (off the shelf) electronic parts, e.g., commercial, automotive, aviation, and industrial grade, as a key tactic. The challenge is that, while inexpensive, plentiful and highly-capable, much is unknown about these parts’ sensitivity to the natural radiation environment they will be exposed to in various orbits and in deep space. Due to multiple, interdependent constraints, such data is terrifically hard to come by. Meanwhile, the science and engineering workforce with vast radiation test experience is in a state of transition, with many experienced members exiting the space industry and the cadre of talented technical professionals entering still growing.
Due to its advanced performances and cost saving, use of COTS components has been considered in the applications not only for the “NEW SPACE” satellites but also for JAXA’s spacecraft. JAXA has also been examining the possible use of COTS components and clarifying the conditions and specifications. As an outcome of the examination, we established four kinds of “Handbook of the Use of Commercial EEE Parts in Space Applications” which consists of the conditions and evaluation methods for each of four classified mission criteria for the purpose of utilizing the COTS components.
A nanosatellite called ANGELS was developed by CNES. The parts procurement policy of this project will be presented. The confidence in the commercial parts of this project is based on 3 pillars: a careful selection, radiation tests and reliability tests at board level. This approach will be presented.
This presentation will highlight the interest to use COTS for defence, describe some of the specificities and challenges associated with the introduction of COTS in military equipment and conclude with some recommendations and roadmap to support European non-dependence on COTS for defence and Space.
Pulsed lasers are excellent tools for the rapid screening of large numbers of parts, whether simply for latch-up or for more detailed SEE investigations. Package preparation is simpler than for heavy ion testing as no die thinning is required. Both front-side (wire-bonded devices) and back-side (flip chips) lasing can be applied. The ability to lay down very large arrays of, e.g. 10,000 laser spots under automatic control with a precision of 1 micron gives the advantages of microbeam and broad beam testing in one system. Device manufacturers can use the technique to identify sensitive areas on a die at an early stage in the design process, saving time to market and reducing costs.