- Posted by Allyson Yarbrough
- On December 3, 2019
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.