Spacecraft Interface Module
Enabling & Support

Embedded passive component: a way to miniaturization

03/02/2017 601 views 0 likes
ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology / Shaping the Future
 Programme:  TRP Workplan  Achieved TRL:  4
 Reference:  T723-320QT  Closure:  2016
 Contractor(s):  Imec (BE), AT&S (AT), QinetiQ Space (BE)

Embedding Passive Components is expected to lead to reduced volume and weight, increased electrical performance, larger design freedom and the elimination of solder joints which is sometimes degrading the reliability of our circuits for space applications.

The above picture shows the redesigned version of the Spacecraft Interface Module board, including two layers of embedded passive components inside the rigid-flex printed circuit board.

Multilayer ceramic chip capactior
Multilayer ceramic chip capactior

To investigate the suitability of embedding passive components in printed circuit boards for space applications through an extensive Evaluation Test Plan and the redesign of the Spacecraft Interface Module flight board from QinetiQ Space.

An in-depth assessment, including line audit, of the AT&S Embedded Component Packaging technology was performed. The Evaluation Test Plan revealed no failures in the microvia interconnection to the component, whereas component performance is adequate, albeit not at space-level requirements.

Schematic view of the Interface Module board
Schematic view of the Interface Module board

A functional demonstrator, redesigned with embedded components, was manufactured by AT&S and performed up to par with its Surface Mount Technology (SMT) counterpart.

The picture to the left shows passive components, marked in red, that were embedded inside the redesigned Spacecraft Interface Module board.

Further work

  • Establish a European supply chain with an extension of the available voltage, power and temperature ratings
  • Realize a Technology Demonstrator with embedded passive components to verify design and procurement flow and validate product reliability and performance
  • Perform the industrial supply chain space qualification

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