SiGe BiCMOS circuit and system design and characterization for extreme environment applications
England, Troy Daniel
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This thesis describes the architecture, verification, qualification, and packaging of a 16-channel silicon-germanium (SiGe) Remote Electronics Unit (REU) designed for use in extreme environment applications encountered on NASA's exploration roadmap. The SiGe REU was targeted for operation outside the protective electronic "vaults" in a lunar environment that exhibits cyclic temperature swings from -180ºC to 120ºC, a total ionizing dose (TID) radiation level of 100 krad, and heavy ion exposure (single event effects) over the mission lifetime. The REU leverages SiGe BiCMOS technological advantages and design methodologies, enabling exceptional extreme environment robustness. It utilizes a mixed-signal Remote Sensor Interface (RSI) ASIC and an HDL-based Remote Digital Control (RDC) architecture to read data from up to 16 sensors using three different analog channel types with customizable gain, current stimulus, calibration, and sample rate with 12-bit analog-to-digital conversion. The SiGe REU exhibits excellent channel sensitivity throughout the temperature range, hardness to at least 100 krad TID exposure, and single event latchup immunity, representing the cutting edge in cold-capable electronic systems. The SiGe REU is the first example within a potential paradigm shift in space-based electronics.