Renesas’ radiation-hardened ICs lift off inboard Artemis 1 mission
Renesas has announced that hundreds of its radiation-hardened (rad-hard) integrated circuits (ICs), including over 50 different part numbers, are onboard the Artemis 1 launch that blasted off on November 16.
Intersil-brand rad-hard ICs are part of the battery management systems, RS-25 engine control electronics and the launch abort system on the Space Launch System that propelled the mission into space, the most powerful rocket ever built. On the Orion Capsule that will circle the moon, Renesas provided critical components for controller boards, the main flight computer, the docking camera system, the power distribution system and display and panel electronics. The Intersil-brand ICs perform multiple functions, including power management and precision signal processing.
Artemis is the ambitious NASA program that will take humankind back to the moon for the first time in more than 50 years. Artemis 1 is sending the test-mannequin populated Orion capsule to orbit the moon and deploy cubesats and other space experiments on a 42-day mission to test all the critical systems. Artemis 2 (2024) will have a crew that will orbit the moon paving the way for Artemis 3 (2025), which will land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon. The plan is for Artemis to continue to build a space station in lunar orbit and a base on the lunar South Pole. This infrastructure will allow for the awe-inspiring goal of a crewed mission to Mars in the 2040s.
“We leverage decades of experience as a deeply trusted space supplier to design and manufacture our Intersil brand rad-hard ICs to withstand the harshest of environments,” said Chris Stephens, Vice President, and General Manager of the HiRel Business Division at Renesas. “These devices play a key role in enabling this seminal moment which is capturing the imagination of a new and diverse group of engineers, scientists, and explorers.”
The Renesas Intersil brand has a long history in the space industry spanning more than six decades, beginning with the founding of Radiation Inc. in 1950. Since then, virtually every satellite, shuttle launch and deep-space exploration mission has included Intersil-branded products. Renesas leverages this experience to deliver efficient, thermally optimized and highly reliable SMD, MIL-STD-883 and MIL-PRF 38535 Class-V/Q Intersil-branded products for the defense, high-reliability (Hi-Rel), and rad-hard space markets. Renesas Intersil-brand rad-hard ICs support subsystems for mission critical applications in data communications transfer, power supplies and power conditioning, general protection circuitry, and telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C).
Deep space is a challenging environment for spaceflight and asteroid exploration systems, particularly due to the intense radiation environment encountered in nearly all mission profiles. Design, layout, certain process technologies, and manufacturing steps like burn-in and total dose testing of ICs ensures predictable performance and prevents system failure while in flight and on long duration robotic and crewed missions to other planets.
Renesas’ Intersil-Brand Spaceflight IC Capabilities Include:
- >400 space-qualified radiation-hardened products available
- Consistent design and manufacturing in Renesas’ MIL-PRF-38535-qualified facility located in Palm Bay, Florida
- Renesas’ Intersil brand is one of only ~15 RHA Defense Logistics Agency (Land and Maritime) QML suppliers
- Fully Class V (space level) compliant products
- Products are on individual DLA SMD drawings