NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 06-2 X2.04-9709
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Low Temperature, Radiation Hardened Avionics
PROPOSAL TITLE: Improved Models and Tools for Prediction of Radiation Effects on Space Electronics in Wide Temperature Range

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
CFD Research Corporation
215 Wynn Drive, 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 1944
(256) 726-4858

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Marek Turowski
215 Wynn Dr.
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 1944
(256) 726-4800

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
All NASA exploration systems operate in the extreme environments of space and require reliable electronics capable of handling a wide temperature range (-180ºC to +130ºC) and high radiation levels. To design low-temperature radiation-hardened (rad-hard) electronics and predict circuit and system characteristics, such as error rates, modeling tools are required at multiple levels. To determine the electrical responses of transistors and circuits to radiation events, physics-based Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) and mixed-level tools are required. This project will provide models and tools that will improve capabilities for prediction of technology-dependent responses to radiation in wide temperature range, which will lead to better design of rad-hard electronics, better anticipation of design margins, and reduction of testing cost and time. Future NASA missions will use nanometer-scale electronic technologies which call for a shift in how radiation effects in such devices and circuits are viewed. Nano-scale electronic device responses are strongly related to the microstructure of the radiation event. This requires a more detailed physics-based modeling approach, which will provide information for higher-level engineering models used in integrated circuit (IC) and system design. Hence, the proposed innovation: detailed high-energy-physics-based simulations of radiation events (using MRED/Geant4 software from Vanderbilt University) efficiently integrated with advanced device/circuit response computations by CFDRC NanoTCAD three-dimensional (3D) mixed-level simulator. This will also enable a large number of statistically meaningful runs on a massively parallel supercomputing cluster. The extreme low temperature physics models combined with radiation effects will be validated with the help of consultant, Dr. John Cressler (Georgia Tech), in collaboration with the NASA Extreme Environment Electronics program, and serving the NASA RHESE Program (led by NASA-MSFC).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential other users include all space electronics suppliers, in particular for DoD space communication, surveillance, and imaging systems, as well as commercial satellites. Since modern electronic technologies and parts are getting smaller all the time, the radiation and extreme temperature effects become more severe, the life time and reliability become essential, and the capability to predict them increases confidence and reduces risk. The new computer aided design (CAD) tools can also be applied for cryogenic electronics for high-sensitivity, low-noise analog and mixed-signal applications, such as metrology, infrared (IR) imagers, sensors (radiation, optical, X-ray), radiometrology, precision instruments, radio and optical astronomy, infrared and photon detectors, and other high-end equipment. For all such devices and systems, predictive and accurate modeling and design tools reduce the amount of required radiation/temperature testing, thus decreasing their cost, and time to market or field application.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Prediction of electrical performance and radiation hardness of electronic components in extreme environments (wide temperatures, high radiation) are crucial to design reliable electronics for all NASA Exploration Missions (Moon, Mars, etc.), for both crewed and robotic systems. Since electronic parts are getting smaller, the radiation/temperature effects are more severe – the life time and reliability become essential – the capability to predict them increases confidence and reduces risk. The new tools will be immediately applicable to the NASA Radiation Hardened Electronics for Space Exploration (RHESE) Program, and other mission programs. The new models and design tools will help NASA to: 1) assess and select new electronics technologies, materials, and devices for very low temperature operation in radiation environments; 2) investigate, generate, test, and validate new fast/compact engineering models ("toy models") used in designing larger circuits and systems; 3) design low-temperature rad-hard electronics with better understanding and control of design margins, and evaluate redundancy scenarios; 4) predict circuit and system level characteristics, such as error rates; 5) better evaluate the wide-temperature performance and radiation response at an early design stage; 6) set requirements for hardening and testing; 7) reduce the amount of testing cost and time.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Simulation Modeling Environment

Form Generated on 08-02-07 14:39