recently received a $12.5 million contract from theNational Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) for research and development of extreme temperature technology.
BAE Systems’ Manses, Virginia facility will 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 minus 230 C. The modified device can then be used to design custom Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) that will operate at extreme temperatures without external protective measures.
BAE Systems says it 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 to execute flight, landing and exploration operations on Mars.