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Adoption of SEE laser testing as part of the RHA process for COTS screening and validation



Organisational Unit
Activity Type
Implementation progress
13 July 2021

Duration: 12 months


A very known issue with COTS is their unknown traceability and likelihood of lot inhomogeneity. The results of a SEE radiation test on a COTS part type from one procurement lot cannot be considered representative  for the next procurement of the same COTS part type. The lot homogeneity cannot be assumed even within a single procurement batch as  there may be some variability in the production and supply chain on the same device that could potentially imply very different radiation tolerance of the part. In addition, during the development of a high criticality missions, a large quantity of COTs samples from every procured lot have to be tested, congesting the scarce beam irradiation windows of the Irradiation facilities and increasing the time and cost necessary for the execution of SEE test. The idea is to use the SEE Laser test as a screening tool to detect lot to lot and in lot variability of the dies by analyzing different SEE behaviors.   For the lowest criticality mission there will be probably no or very limited radiation testing involved. In these cases in particular the laser testing would then be used to inject faults in a single part or on a COTS board or module still assembled on its PCB and to identify SEE propagation effects in the design and eventually verify SEE mitigations techniques implemented in a much more efficient way than if compared to testing in an accelerator: i.e. No long lead time to wait for the availability of the beam, no travel cost, no beam time cost. The novelty of this proposal relies on the demonstration of the use of the SEE laser system to measure the SEE sensitivity of a COTS part of the same lot or part of different procurement lot, with the final objective to improve the acceptability of the COTS parts for many different space missions. ESA is currently procuring a single and double photon absorption (SPA, DPA) laser test equipment which would be made available for such activities at ESTEC by the end of 2020.

Contract number
OSIP Idea Id
Related OSIP Campaign
COTS Campaign
Main application area
Generic for multiple space applications
Topical cluster
Adoption of SEE laser testing as part of the RHA process for COTS screening and validation