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BAE Systems to investigate extreme temperature devices

27 July 2005 News Security Services & Risk Management

BAE Systems recently received a $12,5m contract from NASA to explore techniques to extend the performance range of semiconductor devices that will enable NASA to continue exploring and examining the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. This technology will allow data gathering in the extreme temperatures of space without providing additional and costly protective systems required to maintain the operating temperature of the semiconductor devices.

Through a combination of process and device modifications, the basic semiconductor device will be modified to operate at temperatures as low as


-230°C, says BAE. The modified device can then be used to design custom ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) that will operate at extreme temperatures without requiring external protective measures.

BAE Systems has a 20-year history of providing radiation-hardened solutions for US space programs. Its RAD6000 computers were installed on each of the still-operating Mars Rovers - the only control and data computers aboard the two Rovers - to execute flight, landing and exploration operations on Mars. The RAD750 represents the next-generation of space microprocessors, and it was first launched onboard NASA's Deep Impact mission probe which slammed into the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 on 4 July at a speed of around 10 kilometres per second.

www.na.baesystems.com





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