Radiation tolerant computer proven to work for Aerospace Applications
Montana State University has developed a small lightweight computer that can resist damage from radiation exposure from low-orbit to deep-space missions.
Radiation in space poses serious risk to computers on satellites and other spacecraft.
Typically, computers in aerospace applications require expensive, custom-designed
circuitry and shielding to fortify against radiation emitted by the sun and other
celestial bodies. Such designs drive up costs, add size and weight to specifications
and limit the ability to use Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) technology.
As low-orbit satellite systems are deployed and commercial space companies are expanding, there is a growing demand for a COTS solution to radiation hardening.
The MSU technology, RadPC, uses multiple inexpensive COTS computer processors known as Field-Programable Gate Arrays or FPGA’s. The FPGA’s operate in parallel, so that when a radiation particle disrupts one, the others recognize the fault, can take over the computation and reprogram to self-repair themselves.
- Low cost solution
- Allows Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) software
- Light weight
- Advanced Technology Readiness Level of TRL-8
- Collaborate with ongoing research program with lunar mission deployment in 2021
- Schematics and FPGA code available for licensing
- Researchers are available for consultation and R&D projects