Year of Publication

2008

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

James E. Lumpp Jr.

Abstract

The high-radiation environment in space can lead to anomalies in normal satellite operation. A major cause of concern to spacecraft-designers is the single event upset (SEU). SEUs can result in deviations from expected component behavior and are capable of causing irreversible damage to hardware. In particular, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are known to be highly susceptible to SEUs. Radiation-hardened versions of such devices are associated with an increase in power consumption and cost in addition to being technologically inferior when compared to contemporary commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) parts. This thesis consequently aims at exploring the option of using COTS FPGAs in satellite payloads. A framework is developed, allowing the SEU susceptibility of such a device to be studied. SEU testing is carried out in a software-simulated fault environment using a set of Java classes called JBits. A radiation detector module, to measure the radiation backdrop of the device, is also envisioned as part of the final design implementation.

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