Two dimensional radiation sensor development for use in space bound reconfigurable computers
Gowens, Eric Christopher.
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Space bound computers are exposed to damaging radiation once they leave the safety of the Earth's atmosphere, which is a significant hindrance to the development of digital space systems. While most digital systems can be radiation hardened, the development time in making them less susceptible to radiation keeps the hardened systems behind the cutting edge. A better solution for this problem is to provide an early warning that a digital microchip may have been struck by radiation in the form of a spatially aware sensor. The focus of this thesis is the design, fabrication, and testing of a two-dimensional silicon-based radiation sensor capable of detecting the location of a potentially damaging radiation strike on a microchip. It is demonstrated that by using a strip sensor design, the spatial detection of incident radiation is possible. Simulations of performance are presented that predict the functionality of the strip sensor. The capabilities of a commercially available sensor are investigated. Additionally, a sensor is designed, fabricated, tested, and compared to the performance of the commercially available sensor. Recommendations for future research of the sensor design are discussed.