Many kinds of satellite operators are trying to deploy more quickly and cheaply, and are looking at components of lower screening levels than traditional QML (Qualified Manufacturing List) according to Microsemi’s Ken O’Neill (director of marketing for space and aviation).
This involves anything “from pure plastic-packaged COTS parts, all the way to screening just below QML, or ‘sub-QML’,” O’Neill states, adding that “we are exploring ways of offering radiation-tolerant parts with less screening than a traditional QML flow to save lead time and component costs.”
This approach has the potential for dramatic reductions in space electronic components, which is significant in a market where low-Earth-orbit satellites typically cost several thousand dollars per pound to launch. While the cost of a computer board can be cut in half, reducing costs requires a compromise in quality, radiation hardness, reliability, or mission duration.
The full article appears in MilitaryAerospace.com; read The Evolving World of Radiation-Hardened Electronics.
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