The requirements for the
radiation testing of electronics
and other equipment on space
vehicles is changing as the
space sector expands The exposure of spacecraft and their
components to solar and cosmic
radiation has posed considerable and
complex problems as space
exploration has progressed and matured. However, the
technology to turn outer space into a safer environment
for humans and machines is continually developing.
Space ionizing radiation originates from the Sun in
the form of solar flares and coronal mass ejections, the
two Van Allen belts, as well as cosmic galactic rays.
Spacecraft include structural materials and EEE
(Electronic, Electrical and Electromechanical)
components that can be affected by ionizing radiation.
“Some parts are directly exposed to the external
radiation environment. Some are located inside the
spacecraft and are shielded by the external wall of the
spacecraft to some extent.
The Radiation Hardness Assurance and Component
Analysis Section (TEC-QEC) at the European Space
Agency (ESA) supports the RHA and component analysis
of all EASA projects.
Anastasia Pesce, head of the TEC-QEC, which is
based in Holland says, “Some particles are so highly
energetic that they will pass through several centimeters
or more of aluminum shielding and directly pass
through or accumulate in material and EEE components,
which can lead to instant or progressive degradation
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