Radiation-Hardened ICs Assist Spacecraft Obtain Asteroid Samples

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Intersil-brand rad-hard ICs aboard JAXA’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft help deliver efficient and highly reliable products

Designed to explore the origins of the planets, the water of Earth’s oceans and the source of life, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft that was operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has returned asteroid samples to Earth. Assisting the spacecraft in its outer space endeavours were Renesas Electronics’ Intersil radiation-hardened (rad-hard) integrated circuits (ICs). 

The Hayabusa2 carried multiple science payloads for remote sensing and sampling, and its four small rovers investigated the asteroid surface and analysed the environmental and geological context of the surface and subsurface samples collected.

The rad-hard ICs were deployed throughout the Hayabusa2 spacecraft and included a linear regulator, voltage reference, PWM controller, MOSFET drivers, quad comparator, 8-channel and 16-channel multiplexers, and RS-422 receivers & drivers.

“Our industry-leading rad-hard ICs managed several Hayabusa 2 spaceflight subsystems,” said Philip Chesley, Vice President, Industrial and Communications Business Division at Renesas. “We are thrilled and honoured to have played a key role in the Hayabusa2 six-year mission to help explain the origin of life on Earth and the birth of the solar system.”

The Renesas Intersil brand has a long history in the space industry spanning more than six decades. Renesas leverages this experience to deliver efficient, thermally optimised and highly reliable SMD, MIL-STD-883 and MIL-PRF 38535 Class-V/Q Intersil-branded products for the defence, high-reliability (Hi-Rel) and rad-hard space markets. The Intersil-brand rad-hard ICs support subsystems for mission-critical applications in data communications transfer, power supplies and power conditioning, general protection circuitry, and telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C).

Renesas’ Intersil-Brand Spaceflight IC Capabilities Include:

  • >300 space-qualified radiation-hardened products available
  • Consistent design and manufacturing 
  • Renesas’ Intersil brand is one of only ~15 RHA Defense Logistics Agency (Land and Maritime) QML suppliers
  • All products are fully Class V (space level) compliant
  • All products are on individual DLA SMD drawings

These ICs allow explorations in challenging deep space environment for spaceflight and asteroid exploration systems, particularly due to the intense radiation environment encountered in nearly all mission profiles. Design, layout, certain process technologies and manufacturing steps like burn-in and total dose testing of ICs ensures predictable performance and prevents system failure while in flight and on long-duration robotic and crewed missions to other planets.

For additional information on Renesas’ Intersil space and hi-reliability solutions or its low dose rate radiation testing facility, visit here.


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