NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 X1.03-9438
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Radiation Hardened/Tolerant and Low Temperature Electronics and Processors
PROPOSAL TITLE: Improved Design of Radiation Hardened, Wide-Temperature Analog and Mixed-Signal Electronics

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
CFD Research Corp.
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) 726-4889

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA space exploration missions require the electronics for avionic systems, components, and controllers that are capable of operating in the extreme temperature and radiation environments of space and planetary surfaces. To design wide-temperature, radiation-hardened (rad-hard) electronics and predict the characteristics and reliability in these extreme environments, advanced models and simulation tools are required at multiple levels. Analog and mixed-signal circuits for space exploration have not been adequately addressed to date. The proposed project aims to design, develop, validate, and demonstrate novel Radiation Hardened By Design (RHBD) analog/mixed-signal, RF and digital integrated circuits (ICs) aimed for application in NASA relevant extreme environments. In Phase 1, CFDRC, in collaboration with Georgia Tech, accomplished the following: (1) enhanced and demonstrated CFDRC's unique physics-based mixed-mode simulation tools (NanoTCAD coupled with Cadence Spectre) for predicting transient radiation response of benchmark analog circuits based on silicon-germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS technology; (2) leveraged experimental radiation/temperature data collected under the NASA Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) SiGe project to validate new low-T device physics models in NanoTCAD and understand associated physical phenomena; and (3) developed preliminary RHBD concepts for single-event hardening, including the novel inverse-mode cascode (IMC) SiGe HBT. In Phase 2, we will demonstrate and validate the improved physics-based models for temperature range from -230oC to +130oC, and apply them to evaluate and develop RHBD designs over the expected operating range. New RHBD devices employed in analog, RF and digital circuits will be fabricated in prototype chips and tested over a wide temperature range and in a radiation environment, and delivered as a component library for NASA use.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Prediction of electrical performance and radiation tolerance of electronic components in extreme environments (wide temperature range, radiation) are crucial for designing reliable electronics for all NASA robotic exploration missions, such as planned Europa Jupiter System Mission, Titan Saturn System Mission, Venus In-Situ Explorer, sample return from Comet, Asteroids, and continued lunar and Mars exploration missions. Since electronic parts are getting smaller with technology evolution, the radiation/temperature effects are becoming more severe – the lifetime and reliability are quickly becoming critical issues – the physics-based capability to predict the behavior of electronic circuits increases confidence and reduces mission risk. Radiation-hardened and wide-temperature analog, mixed-signal, RF and digital circuits are essential for all the avionic systems used in the NASA exploration projects. The optimized, wide-temperature RHBD designs from this SBIR will add to the pre-existing NASA "component library". The wide-temperature, physics-based mixed-mode tools will help NASA to design rad-hard low-temperature electronics with better understanding and control of design margins, and will enable designers to better evaluate the wide-temperature performance and radiation response at an early design stage and set requirements for hardening and testing, thereby reducing the amount of testing time and cost.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Various critical analog, mixed-signal, RF and digital circuits are used in all space-based platforms, including DoD space systems (communication, surveillance, ballistic missiles, missile defense), and commercial satellites. Since modern electronics technologies and components are becoming increasingly sensitive to extreme environments, the mission lifetime and reliability are becoming increasingly critical, and the capability to predict their behavior dramatically increases confidence and reduces risk. The new RHBD designs and circuit/cell libraries, as well as the physics-based computer aided design (CAD) tools, can also be applied to 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.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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 08-06-10 17:29