Title: Characterisation of operational amplifier performance as a function of total ionising dose at both room and cryogenic operating temperatures for space applications

Authors: Jared Johnson; Michael G. Daly; David M. Hiemstra

Addresses: Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science (CRESS), York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada ' Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science (CRESS), York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada ' MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Abstract: Commercial off the shelf operational amplifiers based on junction field-effect transistors and bipolar transistors were tested under gamma radiation at both room temperature and 77 K in parallel to determine their suitability for space applications. The irradiation while under cryogenic conditions simulates the environment that these devices would experience on small planetary missions where environmental control is not possible due to lack of energy generation capacity. The performance characteristics studied were: offset voltage, total harmonic distortion, change in open loop gain, and noise voltage. A single amplifier remained in specification through 100 krad(Si) and at 77 K. Differences in radiation tolerance were found between room temperature and cryogenic operation for the operational amplifiers under test. In some cases, the best performance was obtained at low temperatures while for others it was obtained at room temperature. The results highlight the need to perform these tests under operational conditions when extreme environment operation is required.

Keywords: space applications; operational amplifiers; low-temperature op-amps; commercial op-amps; off-the-shelf op-amps; field-effect transistors; bipolar transistors; gamma radiation; simulation; small planetary missions; offset voltage; total harmonic distortion; THD; open loop gain; noise voltage; radiation tolerance; cryogenic conditions; room temperature; extreme environments; total ionising dose.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPACESE.2015.069357

International Journal of Space Science and Engineering, 2015 Vol.3 No.1, pp.31 - 49

Received: 17 Dec 2014
Accepted: 26 Jan 2015

Published online: 12 May 2015 *

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