Radiation Hardened Microprocessors
Project Status: Completed
The objective of this Title III project is to develop a more powerful, state-of-the-art, radiation hardened micro-processor for critical space applications. The higher clock rates will lead to significant cost and weight savings for outer space systems.
This effort is the migration of the BAE Systems RAD750â„˘ processor from a radiation tolerant 132MHz device to a radiation hardened 250MHz device. These micro-processors will enable spacecraft to operate in the challenging radiation environments of nuclear threats and long-term natural radiation with greater on-orbit processing capabilities and reduced ground support requirements.
PA # 88ABW-2011-1990
BAE Systems, Inc.
To speak with a Title III representative about a specific project, call (937) 904-4382.
Date of Contract Award: March 28, 2003
Total Contract Value: $ 19,628,000.00
BAEs RAD750 PowerPC Processor
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Applications and Benefits
Electrical circuitry in space is highly susceptible to degradation from natural or nuclear weapon-
induced radiation. With greater performance desired for computers in space, these systems are becoming smaller and more advanced, but the microelectronics required are more vulnerable to radiation damage.
Microelectronics for Space had fallen to three generations behind those for commercial use, and ever-increasing system demands were straining processorsâ€™ capabilities.
The BAE RAD750 PowerPC bridges the gap in radiation hardness and processing speed. Since its
flight debut in 2005, 28 missions are using the RAD750, including NASAâ€™s Kepler satellite, , NASAâ€™s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) missions, and most recently, the Mars Science Laboratoryâ€™s rover Curiosity.
More than 40 additional missions using RAD750s are under contract for launches starting in 2013. Looking forward, the more powerful microprocessor developed through the Title III/BAE systems partnership will enable dramatically increased real-time computing power on orbiting satellites.
Activities and Accomplishments
- Improved radiation hardened micro-processor performance by more than 67%.