Renesas Electronics Corporation
Renesas Electronics Corporation announced that its radiation-hardened (rad-hard) integrated circuits (ICs) were onboard the Hayabusa2 spacecraft that returned asteroid samples to Earth in an armored re-entry capsule on December 6, 2020. Operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Hayabusa2 launched onboard the H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center on December 3, 2014.
Arriving at the Ryugu asteroid on June 27, 2018, the Hayabusa2 asteroid samples retrieval mission was designed to explore the origins of the planets, the water of Earth’s oceans and source of life. Hayabusa2 carried multiple science payloads for remote sensing and sampling, and its four small rovers investigated the asteroid surface and analyzed the environmental and geological context of the surface and subsurface samples collected.
Renesas’ Intersil-brand rad-hard ICs were deployed throughout the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. Renesas’ Intersil brand rad-hard solutions included a linear regulator, voltage reference, PWM controller, MOSFET drivers, quad comparator, 8-channel and 16-channel multiplexers, and RS-422 receivers & drivers.
The Renesas Intersil brand has a long history in the space industry spanning more than six decades, beginning with the founding of Radiation Inc. in 1950. Since then, virtually every satellite, shuttle launch and deep-space exploration mission has included Intersil-branded products. Renesas leverages this experience to deliver efficient, thermally optimized and reliable SMD, MIL-STD-883 and MIL-PRF 38535 Class-V/Q Intersil-branded products for the defense, high-reliability (Hi-Rel), and rad-hard space markets. Renesas Intersil-brand rad-hard ICs support subsystems for mission critical applications in data communications transfer; power supplies and power conditioning; general protection circuitry; and telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C).
Deep space is a challenging environment for spaceflight and asteroid exploration systems, particularly due to the intense radiation environment encountered in nearly all mission profiles. Design, layout, certain process technologies, and manufacturing steps like burn-in and total dose testing of ICs ensures predictable performance and prevents system failure while in flight and on long duration robotic and crewed missions to other planets.
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