NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 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 Corporation
215 Wynn Drive, 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 1944
(256) 726-4800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Marek Turowski
215 Wynn Drive, 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 1944
(256) 726-4889

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA space exploration projects require avionic systems, components, and controllers that are capable of operating in the extreme temperature and radiation environments of deep space. To design wide-temperature radiation-hardened (rad-hard) electronics and predict characteristics and reliability in space, advanced models and simulation tools are required at multiple levels. Analog and mixed-signal circuits for space have not been adequately addressed so far. This project aims to design, develop, validate, and demonstrate novel Radiation Hardened By Design (RHBD) analog/mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) aimed for the extreme environments of space. In Phase 1, CFDRC in collaboration with Georgia Tech will: (1) enhance and demonstrate the CFDRC's unique physics-based mixed-mode simulation tools (NanoTCAD coupled with Cadence Spectre) for predicting extreme-wide-temperature and transient radiation response of analog/mixed-signal ICs based on silicon-germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS technologies; (2) perform first-ever mixed-mode simulation-based investigation of single-event effects (SEE) in SiGe analog, mixed-signal, and radio-frequency (RF) circuits in wide temperature range, and provide important understanding of currently unexplained physical phenomena behind the experimental radiation/temperature data collected under the NASA Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP); and (3) develop preliminary RHBD concepts for SEE hardening. 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 and analog circuits will be fabricated in prototype chips and tested at wide temperatures and radiation, and delivered as a component library to NASA.

POTENTIAL 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, 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 critical the physics-based capability to predict them increases confidence and reduces risk. Radiation-hardened and wide-temperature analog and mixed-signal circuits are essential for all the avionic systems used in the NASA Constellation and other exploration projects for which advanced technologies are being developed by the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). The optimized, wide-temperature RHBD designs from this SBIR will add to the pre-existing NASA "component library" being developed in the ETDP SiGe electronics effort. The new tools and RHBD circuits will be immediately applicable to the NASA Radiation Hardened Electronics for Space Exploration (RHESE) Program. The wide-temperature physics-based mixed-mode tools will help NASA to design rad-hard analog and mixed-signal electronics with better understanding and control of design margins; better evaluate the wide-temperature performance and radiation response at an early design stage; set requirements for hardening and testing; and reduce the amount of testing cost and time.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Various critical analog and mixed-signal circuits are used in space electronics, such as, DoD space systems (communication, surveillance, ballistic missiles, missile defense), and 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 critical, and the capability to predict them 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.

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 09-18-09 10:14