ESA title
Enabling & Support

Protection of Electronics

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology / Onboard Computer and Data Handling

From off-the-shelf components (COTS) to high-end circuitry, the use of electronic protection systems are common in space systems. They are intended to protect sensitive devices (e.g. memory circuits, latch-up sensitive components, etc) most often against the effects of the radiation environment in space. A latch-up protection circuit will for instance detect when a higher current than planned is drawn by a circuit and will take appropriate actions to ensure the safety of the system (e.g. power-cycle the misbehaving device, notify a computer, etc). These protection mechanisms are especially an absolute necessity when using commercial-grade components in the harsh environment of space.