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Overview of a Space Qualification Process - Radiation characterization and beyond. L. BONORA, ESA/ESTEC-Component Division Xanthi - Oct 2006. SUMMARY. Radiation: effects on EEE components Radiation: tests & requirements

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Overview of a Space Qualification Process -

Radiation characterization and beyond

L. BONORA, ESA/ESTEC-Component Division

Xanthi - Oct 2006


  • Radiation: effects on EEE components

  • Radiation: tests & requirements

  • Beyond radiation, overview of the relevant requirements for space components/flight models.

  • ESCC Evaluation/Qualification Approach

  • Minimum Quality Management Requirements

Radiation: effects on EEE components (1)

  • Total Ionizing Dose (TID)

    • Degradation of μelectronics and optoelectronics

    • Cumulative long term effects

    • Parameter drifts, threshold shifts, timing changes, functional failures

  • Non Ionizing Effects – Displacements Damage

    • Degradation of optoelectronics (GaAs …), CCDs, bipolar technologies in very harsh environments

    • Cumulative long term effects ( disruptions of crystal lattice)

    • CMOS technologies less affected ( majority carriers)

Radiation: effects on EEE components (2)

  • Single Event Effects (SEE)

    • Single charged particles (heavy Ions and protons) passing through a semiconductor material

    • Soft errors: data corruption (SEU), system shutdown (SEFI), transients (SET)…

    • Hard errors ( sometimes destructive): Latch-up ( SEL), Stuck bits (SHE), Gate ruptures ( Power MOSFETs and thin capacitors in analog devices)…

      New effect types or unknown manifestations of known effects always possible especially for new technologies

Radiation: Tests and requirements for TID

  • Usual particle type: γ rays (1.17 & 1.33 MeV) from Co60 sources

    • Effects similar to/ representative of space radiation

    • High penetration (parts irradiated “as is” on test boards)

  • European Specification: ESCC 22900

  • Experimental Set-up

    • Sample size: (10 + 1) parts in gal, from a single lot

    • Static bias ( considered as a worst case) ON and OFF

    • Total dose ~100 krad(Si) max. in several steps (0/5/10/20/50/100)

    • Dose rate < 360 rad(Si)/h

      • Actual space dose rate very low ( a few rad(Si)/h)

      • High dose rate not relevant for bipolar/ BiCMOS technologies due to ELDRS

  • Facilities: one source at ESTEC, several in Europe (e.g., ONERA Toulouse)

Radiation: Tests and requirements for SEE (1)

  • General:

    • Characterization: experimental curve σ vs. LET (HI) or energy (p+)

      • σ = ratio number of events / number of incident particles

      • Key parameters: σ sat, LETth and Weibull fit

      • For LETth < 12 MeV.cm2/mg → proton sensitivity possible

      • Based on these parameters → event rate calculations

    • For SET, pulse energies are also important

      • pulse amplitudes and durations have to be determined

    • For some events (e.g., SEGR), destruction of the test samples can’t be prevented

    • Results may be strongly dependent from test patterns or application conditions

  • European Specification: ESCC 25100

Radiation: Tests and requirements for SEE (2)

  • Experimental method:

    • Fluences > 106 HI/cm2 or > 1010 p+/cm2

    • Sample size: ( 3+1) min.

    • Particle range > 30 μm

    • Bias: dynamic or static

    • The range of LETs (HI)/Energies (p+) must be sufficient to determine threshold and saturation

    • A min. of 5 LET/Energy steps is required

    • De-lidded parts for HI – Back side irrad. possible

  • Experimental Set-up

    • ESA supported facilities: HIF(B), PSI (CH), RADEF (F)

    • Other facilities in Europe (IPN- Orsay) or in the USA (BNL …)

Radiation: Tests for Displacement Damage

  • Experimental method:

    • Unit of interest: NIEL ( Non Ionizing Energy Loss)

    • Affected types: CCDs / Optocouplers / GaAs (and similar material) based components …

    • Ground test:

      • protons ( pref. < 60 MeV), fluences > 1010 p+/cm2

      • neutrons ( ~ 1MeV), fluences > 1010 n/cm2

    • Some parts are also TID sensitive ( if a silicon chip is included)

    • Sensitivity to bias conditions

Radiation: points of contact at ESTEC & facilities availability

  • Who to contact ? Radiation Effects Section (TEC-QCA)

    • TID, DD: Ali Mohammadzadeh - [email protected]

    • SEE: Reno Harboe - Sorensen - [email protected]

  • Availability of the facilities can be checked on line in ESA radiation section of ESCIES


  • Radiation characterization of a component/technology is a mandatory step BUT

     A lot more is required to get a Flight Model

  • At this stage, one has to distinguish between:

    • An approval on a case by case basis which is an individual and limited authorisation for a specific project

    • A full ESCC Qualification ( including an Evaluation phase in the ESCC system) which is a general and long term authorisation of use in space

      Let’s first briefly present the relevant requirements


  • ECSSEuropean Coop. for Space Standardisation

    • Space Project Management; Space Product Assurance; Space Engineering

      ECSS-Q60A: Requirements for supply and use of EEE components at equipment level

  • ESCCEuropean Space Components Coordination

    ( ESCC is the preferred option)

    • The ESCC System is an international system for the specification / qualification / procurement of EEE components for use in Space programmes. It covers:

      • the technical specification of EEE parts

      • methodologies for component evaluation and qualification

      • testing methods / quality assurance / operational provisions


  • ECSS- Q60A

    • Non-qualified components have to be evaluated

    • ECSS defines what to do but not how to do

    • The evaluation programme shall include:

      • A constructional analysis

      • A manufacturer assessment

      • An Evaluation testing

        • Electrical stress ( Life test, HTRB …)

        • Mechanical stress ( shocks, vibrations …)

        • Environmental stress ( temp. shock and cycling, seal tests …)

        • Assembly capability

        • Radiation testing ( TID and SEE)

ESCC Eval. / Qualif. Approach: The ESCC system in brief

An international system for the specification / qualification / procurement of EEE components for use in Space programmes

For users, 3 levels of specifications:

  • Basic: test methods, qualification methodology and general requirements applicable to all ESCC components

  • Generic: requirements for screening, periodic or lot acceptance testing and qualification testing for individual families of components

  • Detail: performance requirements for individual or ranges of particular components

ESCC 20000 – Using the ESCC Specification System


  • ESCC qualification approval is a status given to electronic components which are manufactured under controlled conditions and which have been shown to meet all the requirements of the relevant ESCC specifications.

  • Unlike the US MIL System, ESCC is based on a 2 step qualification approach: Evaluation + Qualification

  • During the Evaluation phase, components/technologies can be more extensively characterised and margins determined

  • 3 main phases:

    • Manufacturer Evaluation ( ESCC 20200) -> AUDIT

    • Component Evaluation ( ESCC 22600 and ancillaries)

      • Preparation and realization of an agreedEvaluation Test Program ( ETP) including:

        • Constructional analysis and technology evaluation

        • Step-Stress testing

      • Preparation of a Process Identification Document (PID) & Detail Specification

    • Component Qualification testing

      • On components produced strictly as defined in the final PID and from a given lot

      • According to ESCC Generic Spec. requirements



ESCC 22600

Stand. Comp. Eval

  • Constructional Analysis

    • On random samples taken from the current production

    • Performed by the Evaluation Authority(ESCC Executive)

  • Evaluation Test Programme

    • Established in conjunction Manufacturer / ESCC Executive

    • On a sample ( ~ 100 parts) representative of the component family

    • In order to determine failure modes and margins, it includes:

      • Endurance tests ( HTRB, Extended Burn-in, Life Test …)

      • Destructive tests ( Step-stress, radiation, Environmental/Mechanical/Assembly…)

    • Includes a CA on representative components

    • Ancillary specifications 226xxxx* describe the procedure and requirements to create and perform an ETP

*: xxxx = generic spec. number



ESCC 22600

Stand. Comp. Eval

  • Process Identification Document ( PID)

    • Shall be prepared by the Manufacturer

    • Establishes a precise reference for an electronic component qualified in accordance with the ESCC System

      • Component’s design configuration

      • Materials used in manufacture

      • Manufacturing processes and controls

      • Inspections and tests to be carried-out during and after manufacture

    • PID shall be in accordance with the requirements of ESCC 22700

  • Detail Specification

    • Necessary if not already described by an existing Detail Specification

    • Or if the existing specification requires updating

    • Described in ESCC 20800.



  • Prerequisites:

    • Successful completion of the Evaluation Phase (EPPL listing)

    • The PID reviewed and approved by ESCC Executive

    • A production and test schedule for major processing operations

    • A Production Flow Chart, Process Schedules and Inspection Procedures

  • Components required for qualification testing must be produced strictly in accordance with the PID

  • Qualification testing of the component must be in accordance with the requirements of the relevant ESCC Generic Specification

  • On successful completion of the testing phase => ESCC QPL

  • A Qualification, once established, is valid for 2 years

ESCC Gen. Spec. 9000

Integrated Circuits, Monolithic, hermetically Sealed


  • ESCC 9000

  • describes the general requirements for

  • Qualification

  • Qualification maintenance

  • Procurement

  • Delivery

  • of hermetically sealed, hermetic ICs.

ESCC 9000 – CHART F3

ESCC 9000 – CHART F4



As a minimum, the QM plan shall address the requirements of ESCC 24600

  • As a minimum, the Manufacturer quality management plan must address the ESCC 24600 requirements ( prescriptions to ISO 9001).

  • The resulting Manufacturer quality management system has to include and demonstrate the application of all the applicableESCC 24600 requirements.



As a minimum, the QM plan shall address the requirements of ESCC 24600

  • An appointed CHIEF INSPECTOR with clearly defined authority and responsibility ( including CoC)

  • CONTROL of NON-CONFORMING PRODUCTS invoking the requirements of ESCC 22800


    • Quality manual ( indicating as a objective the conformance to ESCC 24600)

    • Document control procedures for all documents related to the ESCC components manufacture ( incl. subs./suppliers management)

    • A maintained PID

    • Change Control Programme establishing the requirement for documentation of ALL changes, their reasons and the associated data including reliability and re-qualification results



As a minimum, the QM plan shall address the requirements of ESCC 24600

  • TRACEABILITY has to be maintained at all stages of production and tests for all lots

    • Quality records have to be maintained for 5 years ( possibly 10 in a near future)

    • Record of all components found to be defective

  • A Conversion of CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS (specific tests or test vehicles, marking, rework, screening )

  • A CONTROL/INSPECTION prog. Including:

    • On-receipt / incoming tests / inspections

    • Applicable ESCC in-process monitoring/control and back-end tests

    • Procedures shall detail the frequency, methods and criteria for evaluating test results

    • Data shall be maintained



As a minimum, the QM plan shall address the requirements of ESCC 24600

  • A training and certification programme with periodic recertification ( for operators involved in ESCC components manufacture)

  • An appropriate failure analysis capability has to be established with documented procedures for the application of the techniques and the generation of reports. This capability may include the use of appropriate external facilities.

  • A Calibration programme to meet ESCC 21500

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