Chapter 9

Harsh computing in the space domain

J. Abella*; F.J. Cazorla    * Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Barcelona, Spain IIIA-CSIC and Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Barcelona, Spain

Abstract

Microcontrollers in spacecraft are exposed to extremely high radiation levels. This challenges the transition toward more complex hardware designs employing smaller (and so more susceptible to radiation) transistors required to cover the computing power needs in spacecraft. This chapter reviews the main challenges in spacecraft systems and microcontrollers verification for future missions. We first analyze spacecraft performance requirements, the type of microcontrollers that can satisfy them, and how those microcontrollers are affected by radiation ...

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