Engineering 101

Intersil rad-hard ICs on board NASA’s Orion spacecraft

16 of Intersil’s radiation-hardened ICs were on board the maiden voyage of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, also known as the uncrewed Exploration Flight Test 1, on 5th December 2014. The Orion spacecraft is designed to go where no man has gone before, exploring and collecting asteroid samples, a future planned robotic mission to redirect an asteroid to orbit the moon, and the long sought after manned mission to Mars.

Intersil’s rad-hard ICs are deployed in Orion’s crew module, where they are used to support subsystems for mission critical applications in power distribution, navigation and flight control, and in the inertial measurement unit. A range of Intersil ICs are used, including voltage regulators, comparators, multiplexers, PWM controllers, MOSFET drivers, dual analogue switches, quad differential receivers and MPU supervisory circuits.

Intersil’s history and experience in the space and defence industries spans almost six decades, beginning with the founding of Radiation Inc. in 1950. Intersil says its products have been included in virtually every satellite, shuttle launch and deep-space mission since.

All Intersil SMD products are MIL-PRF-38535/QML compliant and are 100% burned in.

“Intersil’s innovative rad-hard ICs are playing a key role in NASA’s next big step into deep space exploration, which is energising a generation of engineers, scientists and astronauts,” said Philip Chesley, Senior Vice President, Precision Products, Intersil. “The successful Orion test flight is a major achievement, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

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