Integrated Circuits to Enable Exploration of the Harshest Environments in the Solar System

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 17:20 in Physics & Chemistry

This blog post originated in the 2018 Science Mission Directorate Science and Technology Report. PROJECT High Temperature Memory Electronics for Long-Lived Venus Missions KEY POINTS Newly developed silicon carbide electronics have operated in ovens for over a year at 500°C and for 60 days in simulated Venus surface conditions. This technology is key to enable future extended missions to explore the Venus surface and other harsh space environments. An advanced silicon carbide integrated circuit before a 60-day test unsheltered in harsh Venus surface conditions (left) and the same circuit (right) still going strong after the test. The capability to operate in harsh environments is crucial for spacecraft to explore the most forbidding regions in the solar system. Recent advances in silicon carbide (SiC) electronics have changed the paradigm of what is possible for exploration of such environments, including the surface of Venus where spacecraft will experience scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. This technology also holds promise for...

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