Space systems -- Evaluation of radiation effects on Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) parts for use on low-orbit satellite

This document outlines the evaluation methods for environmental tests that can be conducted on COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) spacecraft parts intended for use on LEO satellites. The radiation effects considered consist of total dosage, single event, and displacement damage. In addition, this document describes tests that are useful for satellites operating in LEO.

Systèmes spatiaux -- Évaluation des effets des radiations sur les parties commerciales sur étagère (COTS) destinées aux satellites à orbite basse

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Publication Date
12-Jan-2020
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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 21980
First edition
2020-01
Space systems — Evaluation of
radiation effects on Commercial-Off-
The-Shelf (COTS) parts for use on low-
orbit satellite
Systèmes spatiaux — Évaluation des effets des radiations sur les
parties commerciales sur étagère (COTS) destinées aux satellites à
orbite basse
Reference number
ISO 21980:2020(E)
ISO 2020
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ISO 21980:2020(E)
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© ISO 2020

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Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
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ISO 21980:2020(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Abbreviated terms .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 3

5 Radiation resistance design ...................................................................................................................................................................... 4

5.1 Overview ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

5.2 Basic idea of using COTS parts .................................................................................................................................................. 5

5.2.1 Concept of parts selection........................................................................................................................................ 5

5.2.2 COTS parts evaluation ................................................................................................................................................. 5

5.2.3 Concept of evaluation method ............................................................................................................................. 5

5.2.4 Concept of application of COTS parts/consumer technology ................................................... 5

5.3 Space radiation environment prediction.......................................................................................................................... 5

5.3.1 Space environment ........................................................................................................................................................ 5

5.3.2 Space radiation environment model .............................................................................................................. 6

5.3.3 Various parameters ....................................................................................................................................................... 6

5.3.4 Environmental conditions necessary for evaluation ........................................................................ 6

6 Radiation tolerance test ................................................................................................................................................................................ 7

6.1 Types of irradiation test .................................................................................................................................................................. 7

6.1.1 Cobalt 60 (gamma ray) irradiation test ....................................................................................................... 7

6.1.2 Proton beam irradiation test ................................................................................................................................. 7

6.1.3 Heavy ion test ..................................................................................................................................................................... 7

6.2 Alternative irradiation test — Laser pulse test........................................................................................................... 7

6.3 Test procedure ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

6.3.1 Total dose test .................................................................................................................................................................... 7

6.3.2 Single event test ................................................................................................................................................................ 7

6.3.3 Displacement damage test ...................................................................................................................................... 7

6.3.4 Laser pulse test for SEE test ................................................................................................................................... 7

Annex A (informative) Radiation resistance design procedure ............................................................................................... 8

Annex B (informative) Total dose prediction method .....................................................................................................................13

Annex C (informative) Radiation guidelines for total dose using contour maps .................................................19

Annex D (informative) Comparative example between model prediction and measured values .....23

Annex E (informative) Radiation deterioration of electronic components ..............................................................25

Annex F (informative) Overview of single event effect ...................................................................................................................27

Annex G (informative) Measures for single events of electronic components .......................................................29

Annex H (informative) Measures for single events of devices ................................................................................................31

Annex I (informative) Prediction method of displacement damage ................................................................................33

Annex J (informative) Resistance for displacement damage of each device ............................................................35

Annex K (informative) Displacement damage test guideline for semiconductor device ............................38

Annex L (informative) Laser pulse test method .....................................................................................................................................44

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................46

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ISO 21980:2020(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to

the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see

www .iso .org/ iso/ foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 20, Aircraft and space vehicles,

Subcommittee SC 14, Space systems and operations.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.
iv © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
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ISO 21980:2020(E)
Introduction

This document describes methods of evaluating the radiation effects on COTS (Commercial-Off-The-

Shelf) parts used in low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Many small (<180 kg) and nano/microsatellites

(1 kg to 50 kg) are launched to LEO altitudes where space radiation exists but is less than at higher

altitudes. As a result, the designers and manufacturers of such satellites are using COTS semiconductor

devices for their satellite components and boards. New industries taking advantage of nano/

microsatellite and CubeSat [1,33 kg × (1U-3U)] satellite capabilities now include IT ventures, mobile

phones, and internet industries along with universities and research institutions.

Satellite manufacturers who prioritize investment efficiency also aim to extend mission lifetimes (up

to three, five and ten years) longer than one-year missions that were common for educational and

technical demonstrations using nano/microsatellites.

Even with relatively lower space radiation conditions in LEO compared to higher orbits, a longer mission

life in LEO poses critical radiation environment constraints for COTS devices onboard small and nano/

microsatellites as well as CubeSats.

While there are methods of evaluating the radiation resistance of space parts, there are limited methods

for evaluating COTS parts used for LEO satellites and these are often based on legacy parts usage.

This document provides guidance for evaluating radiation tolerance of COTS parts that can help

increase confidence levels of longer-term mission lifetimes.
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 21980:2020(E)
Space systems — Evaluation of radiation effects on
Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) parts for use on low-orbit
satellite
1 Scope

This document outlines the evaluation methods for environmental tests that can be conducted on COTS

(Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) spacecraft parts intended for use on LEO satellites. The radiation effects

considered consist of total dosage, single event, and displacement damage. In addition, this document

describes tests that are useful for satellites operating in LEO.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
3.1
galactic cosmic rays
GCR

high-energy-charged particle fluxes (3.2) penetrating the heliosphere from local interstellar space

Note 1 to entry: Galactic cosmic rays are composed primarily of high-energy protons and atomic nuclei. Upon

impact with the Earth's atmosphere, cosmic rays can produce showers of secondary particles that sometimes

reach the Earth’s surface. There is evidence that a significant fraction of primary cosmic rays originate from

stellar supernova explosions and perhaps from active galactic nuclei.
[SOURCE: ISO 15390:2004, 2.1, modified — Note 1 to entry has been added.]
3.2
flux
number of particles passing through a specific unit area per unit time
[SOURCE: ISO 12208:2015, 2.3]
3.3
fluence
time-integrated flux (3.2)

Note 1 to entry: Fluence is measured as the flux per unit area per unit time. This is used to express the

environment during the operational lifetime of a spacecraft or space instrument. The integrated particles fluence

−2 −2 −1

unit is expressed as particles m . The energy integral fluence unit is expressed as particles m MeV . When the

directional fluence is included, add per steradian ( sr ).
[SOURCE: ISO 12208:2015, 2.4, modified — Note 1 to entry has been added.]
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ISO 21980:2020(E)
3.4
absorbed dose

amount of energy imparted by ionizing radiation per unit mass of irradiated matter

Note 1 to entry: The quotient of dε by dm where dε the mean energy imparted by ionizing radiation to matter

of mass dm is
D= .

Note 2 to entry: The special name of the unit for absorbed dose is the gray (Gy). 1 Gy = 1 J⋅kg .

[SOURCE: ISO 15856:2010, 3.1.1]
3.5
dose
idiomatic term which expresses the radiation dose and the absorbed energy

Note 1 to entry: Dose is used to express various meanings, such as the absorbed dose (3.4), exposure dose, etc.

3.6
total dose

total absorbed dose (3.4) received by components or materials to a specific point

3.7
single event effect
SEE

effect, such as malfunctions of circuit elements (software errors), or latch up, which are caused by the

effect of a single high energy particle
3.8
bremsstrahlung

photon radiation, continuously distributed in energy up to the energy of the incident particle radiation,

emitted from a material due to deceleration of incident particle radiation within the material, mainly

due to electrons

Note 1 to entry: Bremsstrahlung is any radiation produced due to the deceleration (negative acceleration) of a

charged particle, which includes synchrotron radiation (i.e. photon emission by a relativistic particle), cyclotron

radiation (i.e. photon emission by a non-relativistic particle), and the emission of electrons and positrons during

beta decay. The term is frequently used in the narrower sense of radiation from relativistic electrons (from

whatever source) slowing as they penetrate matter.

[SOURCE: ISO 15856: 2010, 3.1.3 — The alternative term "brake radiation" has been removed; Note 1 to

entry has been added.]
3.9
solar flare

explosion phenomenon which occurs on the surface of the sun, accompanied by the release of high

energy particles
3.10
spectrum

array of entities, such as light waves or particles, ordered in accordance with the magnitudes of a

common physical property, such as wavelength or mass

Note 1 to entry: In this document, the spectrum refers to the items that express the particle flux (3.2) density of

the radiation for each energy.
3.11
anneal

phenomenon in which the characteristics degraded by radiation recover due to heat

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ISO 21980:2020(E)
3.12
linear energy transfer
LET

energy delivered by a charged particle passing through a substance and locally absorbed per unit

length of path
−1 2 −1 2 −1

Note 1 to entry: It is measured in joules per metre. Other dimensions are keV・μ m , J・m・kg , MeV・cm・mg .

[SOURCE: ISO 15856:2010, 3.1.10]
3.13
dose rate
dose (3.5) per unit of time
3.14
heavy ion
ion particles with a large atomic number
Note 1 to entry: Heavy ion generally refers to particles of He or more.
3.15
non-ionizing energy loss
NIEL
damage not caused by ionization of the incidence particles
4 Abbreviated terms
CREME-MC cosmic ray effects on microelectronics MC
SEU single-event upset
SET single-event transient
SEL single-event latch up
SEB single-event burnout
SEGR single-event gate rupture
MCU multiple bit upset
TID total ionizing dose
HUP direct ionization-induced SEE rate calculation
PUP proton-induced SEE rate calculation
CCD charge coupled device
CMOS complementary metal oxide semiconductor
EOL end of life
SPENVIS space environment information system
HAST high acceleration stress test
RTS random telegraph signals
ADC analog-to-digital converter
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ISO 21980:2020(E)
DAC digital analog converter
NPN negative-positive-negative
FPGA field-programmable gate array
MOSFET metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor
MSM metal semiconductor metal
LED light emitting device
DC direct current
PN positive-negative
PIN P-intrinsic-N
FPL focused pulsed laser
SOA system operating area
ELDRS enhanced low dose rate sensitivity
EDAC error detection and correction
CTE charge transfer efficiency
CTR current transfer ration
TTL transistor transistor logic
IC integrated circuit
DD displacement damage
5 Radiation resistance design
5.1 Overview

Satellite designers and manufacturers can implement measures against TID, SEU, SEL, and displacement

damage as part of the radiation resistance design when using consumer parts on LEO satellites. See

Annex A for radiation tolerance design procedures.

Generally, TID for a satellite is calculated using the knowledge of total dose in a satellite’s orbit for a

year timed by the design lifetime in years. To mitigate TID effects, the radiation shielding thickness

is increased to a level such that the function and performance of the parts used are still acceptable.

Programs such as SHIELDOSE-2 are often used to estimate total dose in parts. For satellite designers

who cannot use the SHILDOSE-2 program, a contour map that easily estimates the total dose is shown

in Annex C.

To estimate SEU as well as SEL, programs such as HUP and PUP are often used. Generally, if one concludes

that there is no effect on reducing the occurrence frequency of SEU and SEL even after thickening the

shielding material, the measures prescribed in Annex G and Annex H can be taken.

Displacement damage refers to lattice defects that are generated in a semiconductor due to the collision

from energetic particles (heavy ions, alphas, protons, neutrons, or electrons) or high-energy photons.

Such damage is inevitable regardless of COTS parts/space parts, and even increasing the shield thickness

only has a limited effect. In lattice defects, a charge is captured and released, so the influence becomes

conspicuous in CCD, CMOS sensors, photocouplers, solar cells, and other optical components. Often the

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ISO 21980:2020(E)

magnitude of such lattice defect damage depends on the temperature and options may include lowering

the operating temperature during use or applying sensor signal processing. Conversely, the radiation

resistance design should also consider the state of deterioration (i.e., amount of deterioration) at the

satellite’s EOL. See Annex J.
5.2 Basic idea of using COTS parts
5.2.1 Concept of parts selection

In cases of failure regarding COTS parts, and unlike the parts for space, the user is responsible for failure

analysis. Generally, support from the parts manufacturers cannot be expected. It is therefore important

to select parts covered by failure analysis service or parts having a known internal structure.

With regard to radiation sensitivity that can depend on each manufactured lot of parts and, where

possible, identification management of lots should be carried out.
5.2.2 COTS parts evaluation

As part of the evaluation methods, when the payload is an important or critical one, certain standard

screening tests (e.g., temperature cycling, high-temperature burn-in test) can be conducted to assure

the ruggedness of the COTS devices.

In the case where a long-life mission is planned, such tests as the HAST and sample life test can be

conducted.
5.2.3 Concept of evaluation method

In addition to the task of evaluating each part separately, the merits of higher-level evaluation, such as

at the board or unit level, should also be considered.
5.2.4 Concept of application of COTS parts/consumer technology

Risk assessment is based on the identity of the part being evaluated, the environment in which it will

be used, and the criticality of the part used. Such an assessment usually helps to determine whether the

[6]

parts should be used. A reference for parts risk evaluation methodology is RNC - CNES - Q - 60 – 516 .

5.3 Space radiation environment prediction
5.3.1 Space environment
The natural space radiation environment can be classified into two populations:

1) transient particles that include protons along with heavier ions of all elements of the periodic table

as well as atmospheric albedo (back scattered) neutrons; and
2) trapped particles that include protons, electrons, and heavier ions.

The transient radiation consists of GCR particles and particles from solar events (e.g., coronal mass

ejections, solar flares, and interplanetary medium acceleration shocks). The solar-related events

periodically produce energetic protons, alpha particles, heavy ions, and electrons. Table 1 lists the

orders of magnitude of the maximum energy of the radiation particles.
Table 1 — Maximum energies of particles
Particle type Maximum energy
Trapped electrons 10s of MeV
Trapped protons &heavier ions 100s of MeV
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ISO 21980:2020(E)
Table 1 (continued)
Particle type Maximum energy
Solar protons 100s of MeV
Solar heavy ions GeV
Galactic cosmic rays TeV
5.3.2 Space radiation environment model

Space environment models that can be used for environmental specification include:

[7] [8]
— trapped electrons: AE-8 , AE-9 ;
[9] [8]
— trapped protons: AP-8 , AP-9 ;
[10]
— solar protons: JPL-91 ;
[11]
— galactic cosmic rays: CREME -MC , ISO 15390:2004;
— geomagnetic vertical cut-off model: ISO 17520:2016;
[12]
— ionizing dose model: SHIELDOSE-2 ;
[11]
— single event effects (SEE): HUP and PUP .

All models contain uncertainty and a good practice for evaluating a design is to add a margin in one of

the following ways:

(a) add a margin to the model input parameters (shielding thickness, lifetime in environment, etc.) and

conduct design evaluation;

(b) first, design and evaluate a part's use with a model using no margin then add the margin (including

uncertainty other than in the model) to the obtained result.
5.3.3 Various parameters

Various model input parameters such as orbital conditions, mission period, solar activity cycle, and

Earth’s magnetic shield should be properly selected.
5.3.4 Environmental conditions necessary for evaluation
The following environmental conditions are necessary for evaluation:
— dose-depth curve;

— integrated energy spectrum of trapped electrons, trapped protons, and solar-related protons;

— LET spectrum of galactic cosmic rays.

Using these calculation results, conduct the radiation evaluation tests specified in Clause 6.

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ISO 21980:2020(E)
6 Radiation tolerance test
6.1 Types of irradiation test
6.1.1 Cobalt 60 (gamma ray) irradiation test

Cobalt 60 generates high energy gamma rays at 1,17 and 1,33 MeV and such a source decays at a rate

of 1 % per month (half-life is 5,3 years). This test is suitable for total dose testing and cannot test

single events.
6.1.2 Proton beam irradiation test

The proton irradiation test for silicon requires a cyclotron accelerator which can accelerate protons to

at least 50 MeV. In this test, it is possible to simultaneously test the total dose and single event incidents,

including the evaluation of displacement damage. Tests with LET of 25 MeV-cm /mg or more are also

possible using secondary (metal) heavy ions generated by collisions between protons and metal atoms

within the semiconductor.
6.1.3 Heavy ion test

For the heavy ion test, an accelerator should be used, or alternatively a radioisotope (such as

Californium 256) should be used. The heavy ion test using an accelerator is very expensive. It is a

difficult test to conduct, so it is excluded except when it is judged essential in 5.2.4. The method that uses

spontaneous fission of radioisotopes (such as Californium 256) can irradiate a target with heavy ions.

6.2 Alternative irradiation test — Laser pulse test

Pulsed picosecond lasers can be evaluated for SEU in a number of different circuits, as can such devices

as SRAM, DRAM, logic circuit, and an analog/digital converter.
6.3 Test procedure
6.3.1 Total dose test

The total dose test is conducted to evaluate the amount of deterioration accumulated during the mission

[13] [14]

due to radiation effects. Refer to MIL-STD-883 TM1019 and ESCC 22900 for details on how to

conduct the total dose test.
6.3.2 Single event test

The single event test is conducted to evaluate the effects of energetic particles such as galactic cosmic rays

[15] [16] [17]

and trapped protons. Refer to MIL-STD-883 TM1020 /1021 and ESCC 25100 for the test method.

6.3.3 Displacement damage test

This test is conducted to evaluate the displacement damage caused by particles of protons and ions

entering the semiconductor. See Annex K for the displacement damage test method.
6.3.4 Laser pulse test for SEE test

An evaluation equivalent to that of radiation irradiation can be conducted by using a laser pulse. See

Annex L for the laser pulse test method.
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ISO 21980:2020(E)
Annex A
(informative)
Radiation resistance design procedure
A.1 Total dose
A.1.1 Energy spectrum of electrons & protons

The radiation environment (total dose amount) received by the satellite is calculated by the radiation

environment model, taking into account the operational conditions during orbit (e.g., launch date,

six trajectory elements, mission period).
A.1.2 Calculation of the total dose received by parts

Calculate the shield thickness of the satellite as well as the shield thickness of each device. Calculate

the total dose received by the parts used in the equipment. (The shield is generally made of different

materials, but in order to simplify the evaluation, the value converted to the equivalent shield thickness

of aluminum is used.)
A.1.3 Consideration of shield thickness

When it is difficult to secure the total dose resistance of the parts used, mounting of parts, mass of

equipment etc., consider partial shielding or increase the shield thickness of the equipment housing. In

this way, change to a shield that ensures the total dose tolerance of the parts.

Annex B describes the total dose prediction method in detail. And Annex B also gives the radiation

guidelines for total dose using contour maps. Note that the total predicted values based on Annex B tend

to be overestimated. Annex D describes a comparative example between model prediction including

measured values. Annex E describes the radiation deterioration of electronic components. The design

flow for total dose is shown in Figure A.1.
A.2 Single event upset, single event latch-up
A.2.1 Proton energy spectrum

The radiation environment (heavy ions and proton fluence) received by the satellite is calculated by

using the radiation environment model, taking into consideration the operational conditions in orbit

(e.g., launch date, six trajectory elements, mission period).

However, heavy ions need not be considered for the evaluation of parts other than those used in

important equipment.
A.2.2 Calculation of SEE

Confirm the radiation tolerance data for the selected parts (or conduct an irradiation

...

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