Gran Sasso Tech and Thales Alenia Space Italia signed an agreement for the characterisation of COTS for the IRIDE constellation

Gran Sasso Tech Foundation and Thales Alenia Space Italia SpA signed an agreement on June 22, 2023 for the radiation characterisation of COTS electronic components to be used in the IRIDE constellation.

IRIDE is an Italian government project managed by ESA in conjunction with the Italian space agency ASI. Scheduled for completion by 2026, IRIDE features a hybrid constellation of different satellites with dedicated Earth observation sensors. This end to end system comprises a series of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite sub-constellations, ground infrastructures (downstream) and services dedicated to Italian public administration.

Specifically, the Gran Sasso Tech Foundation will be involved in the characterisation of DC/DC converters by conducting TID (Total Ionising Dose) and SEE (Single Event Effects) tests and developing the appropriate measurement setup.

This activity is part of one of Gran Sasso Tech’s institutional research areas dedicated to the development of methodologies and techniques for the characterisation of COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) components. Traditionally, 60% of the cost of electronics for a satellite is the purchase of components designed and tested specifically for use in space. COTS, on the other hand, are produced for terrestrial applications at a much lower cost, often with high reliability and in some cases with enhanced performance. The use of COTS for space applications requires thermomechanical and rad-hard characterisation methods tailored to mission specifications, with significant economies of scale. Gran Sasso Tech will therefore contribute to the development of an integrated national supply chain for the systematic use of COTS components in space.