High-Energy Proton Testing of Sensitive Electronics for use on Modular Infrared Molecules and Ices Sensor (MIRMIS) Instrument

Swati Thirumangalath, Endija Briede, Antti Näsilä, V. Gupta, C. Boatella, Wojciech Hanke, V. Kletzl, Roberts Trops, N. E. Bowles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


The Comet Interceptor (CI) mission is ESA's first "F" class mission, selected in June 2019. This mission consists of three spacecraft: Spacecraft A (main spacecraft), Spacecraft B1 (supplied by the Japanese space agency JAXA), and Spacecraft B2. In this paper, we highlight the Modular Infrared Molecular and Ices Sensor (MIRMIS) instrument, which is integrated into the CI Spacecraft A's scientific payload. In addition to hardware contributions from Finland (VTT Finland) and the UK (University of Oxford), the MIRMIS instrument team includes members from the University of Helsinki and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre. MIRMIS covers the spectral range of 0.9 to ~25 μm. This paper presents the preliminary high-proton-energy radiation test results of MIRMIS’ near-infrared detector arraysensitive electronic components. Proton beam testing is performed to estimate Single Event Effects (SEE) on the PCB boards and SEE and Total Non-Ionizing Dose (TNID)/ Displacement Damage (DD) on the detectors. The tests were conducted at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) Proton Irradiation Facility (PIF), Villigen, Switzerland. The levels for the tests were based on the mission requirements for the ESA Comet Interceptor mission: 3 years (at 1 AU- Segment 1) and 2 years (at 0.9 AU- Segment 2). The DD levels from the analysis were equivalent to 1e11 protons/cm2 with an energy of 50 MeV. The electronics are exposed to high-energy protons causing Single Event Effects (SEE) which may induce potentially destructive and non-destructive effects. The test items primarily included the InGaAs image sensors (SCD Cardinal640, standard and low noise), Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays), and other proximity electronics. The proton energies were varied from 50 to 200 MeV, at fluxes of 106 to 108 particles/cm2/s. No events were observed on the standard Cardinal640 sensor at target fluences between 1.00E+10 to 1.00E+11 particles/cm2. FPGAs did not show any susceptibility to TNID at fluences up to 1.00E+11 (particles/cm2).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOut of this World!
Subtitle of host publication2022 Small Satellite Conference
PublisherSmall Satellite Conference
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2022
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
Event36th Annual Small Satellite Conference - Logan, United States
Duration: 6 Aug 202211 Aug 2022


Conference36th Annual Small Satellite Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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