Engineering electronics for outer space
Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Central Government
The challenges of designing electronic systems for spacecraft which will withstand the harsh environment of space will be explained by a Leicester engineering expert.
Professor Tanya Vladimirova, of the University of Leicester’s Department of Engineering, will give her inaugural lecture ‘Microelectronics and Embedded Systems for Space Applications’ on June 19.
Her work addresses needs of satellites in the Earth’s orbit, which may never be available for repair after launch and are vulnerable to collision with space debris travelling at high velocities.
She will discuss the latest groundbreaking projects which seek to make on-board computing systems as small and reliable as possible.
The lecture will also feature the University’s CubeSat project, which aims to place a nano-satellite in orbit in 2015.
Professor Vladimirova said: “Fifty five years after the launch of the first artificial satellite of Earth, the Russian ‘Sputnik-1’, satellite systems have changed our lives, bringing us instant information via the telephone and broadcast media.”
“Satellite navigation has become a vital part of everyday activities enabling users to find their position accurately anywhere on Earth using signals from orbiting satellites. But most importantly, as it is said in the UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond, ‘satellites are a crucial tool for understanding and monitoring Earth at a global level for preservation of the environment and security’.”
“However, satellites are vulnerable to the harsh environment of space and are not available for repair after launch. Recently published study of spacecraft failures has concluded that electronics failures are the single largest type of failures - in fact 45 per cent of all failures in spacecraft are related to electronics.”
“The research presented in this lecture aims to apply new technological advances in microelectronics and embedded systems to improve reliability and reparability of spacecraft electronics. The research is also motivated by the need to reduce satellite mass via miniaturization and distributed architectures.”
The lecture will be held on June 19 from 5.30pm in Lecture Theatre 1 in the Ken Edwards Building, University of Leicester, and is free and open to the public.