Space project at ELI Beamlines – radiation resistance of electronic devices in CubeSat

Illia Zymak from ELI Beamlines succeed with his proposal „Development of a novel electron radiation effects and charging test platform for CubeSat-dimensioned devices based on a laser-driven electron accelerators“ and got a financial support from the GAMA2 programme of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. The project will begin on 1/1/2022 and last for 12 months. The main goal is to bring results of this project into the phase of proof-of-concept and commercialization.

The number of nano-satellite spacecrafts (Cubesat) that have been successfully launched into low Earth orbit has increased dramatically over the last decade. Compact and more affordable devices are a better fit to the needs of private companies and represent a viable space commercialization strategy. These types of satellites are used for better knowledge of space and Earth observation. CubeSats are able to fly in the Earth’s orbit for a long time but very often, electrical power systems, on-board computer or communication module malfunctions make a major contribution to mission failure generally in the first 90 on-orbit days. Electron flux, along with proton and neutron radiation, induces accelerated ageing of electronic systems and may cause single event effects in electronic components that result in data corruption.

Illia Zymak developed the experimental setup that should provide a technical solution for the radiation environments test of electronics for aerospace applications and help to make each component more radiation resistant, prolong their service life, and optimize R&D expenses for space-qualified components. „The purpose of the proposed experimental setup is to provide accessible to the end user, and cost-efficient access to the test environment in the Central and East European region. A designed test platform is based on the laser wakefield accelerator (LWFA) technology capable of producing relativistic pulsed electron beams, and currently is under development at ELI Beamlines,“ he said.

He is currently finishing the development of the experimental setup, then will file a patent and manage radiation environment testing services for the final customers and licensing of the device for commercial manufacturers.

This project is in line with other ELI Beamlines space technology activities – ELI Beamlines is an expert part of Interreg Europe Stephanie project focused on space & photonics in relation to society challenges. In this project ELI Beamlines cooperates with Prague City to set up regional strategy in the space sector together with other stakeholders.