- Posted by Jim Ryan
- On December 3, 2019
The electronic content of satellites is expanding exponentially in both traditional GEO satellite signal processing applications as well as LEO small satellite constellations that will provide internet access from any point on the planet. These new ambitious design solutions require reduced size, weight, power and cost. The benefits of using Plastic Encapsulated Microcircuits (PEMs) or Commercial-Off-The-Shelf devices (COTS) in space level applications are attractive: advanced technologies, higher levels of integration, higher performance, better size, weight, and power specifications. Design engineers in the space industry are tasked with using risk analysis to reduce cost while increasing performance and maintaining system reliability. A given device might be suitable for use in space, but not in all space level applications. The components selected must meet the specific mission requirements. The challenge today is how to implement COTS methodology in space level applications. The goal is to reach an acceptable level of reliability, within the technical, commercial, and financial constraints of the mission. Unfortunately, depending on the specific mission requirements, there are an endless number of possibilities for screening and quality conformance inspections.