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    Effects of Space Radiation on Transistors

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    The present state of the art allows transistors to operate up to 1 year for a space probe. This is for thin-base germanium devices. Other devices, such as thick-base and silicon, are restricted to shorter periods. For devices orbiting in the center of the inner Van Allen belt, the useful life of thin-base transistors is approximately 3 days. These lifetimes may be increased by suitable shielding. Latest transistor development, such as very-high-frequency germanium devices, should increase the lifetimes by an order of magnitude.

    Author Information:

    Gardner, Leonard B.
    President, Consulting Scientists, North Hollywood, Calif.

    Coss, James R.
    Senior Engineer, Northrop Space Laboratories, Hawthorne, Calif.

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.07

    DOI: 10.1520/STP47063S