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High-Temp Electronics For Venus Exploration, recent advances
dtolman
post Jun 27 2013, 05:14 PM
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Thinking about it, perhaps if the goal is electronics that work in near-ambient temperatures, then the cooling schemes where they need to refrigerate the electronics is all wrong. If the goal is to get to 400+C rated electronics, than a totally different cooling system will be needed. Once you get to the point where the electronics are hotter than the outside air, which at 400 C rated electronics might be true for highland landings, you can switch to less exotic methods - passive radiators, or some kind of liquid cooling (sodium?).

I don't know much about more passive cooling techniques, but I imagine that a sodium (or some other high temperature liquid) cooled electronics bay would be a lot cheaper, lighter, and require less power than a Stirling Engine.
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Robotbeat
post Jun 29 2013, 06:15 AM
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QUOTE (dtolman @ Jun 27 2013, 12:14 PM) *
Thinking about it, perhaps if the goal is electronics that work in near-ambient temperatures, then the cooling schemes where they need to refrigerate the electronics is all wrong. If the goal is to get to 400+C rated electronics, than a totally different cooling system will be needed. Once you get to the point where the electronics are hotter than the outside air, which at 400 C rated electronics might be true for highland landings, you can switch to less exotic methods - passive radiators, or some kind of liquid cooling (sodium?).

I don't know much about more passive cooling techniques, but I imagine that a sodium (or some other high temperature liquid) cooled electronics bay would be a lot cheaper, lighter, and require less power than a Stirling Engine.

If you can get the electronics to work at just above ambient /reliably for a long time/, then cooling isn't much of a problem in Venus's dense atmosphere. But that's a pretty big if. And the Raytheon stuff isn't "rated" for 400C, it's been operated there for some (presumably quite limited) finite period of time. A problem with the highlands, though, is that it's not really a good place to land something like a seismometer because it looks much rockier than most of the Venera landing sites.
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Xcalibrator
post Sep 9 2013, 02:31 PM
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QUOTE
A RFI http://go.usa.gov/jtdJ has been issued in FEDERAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNTIES for a new prize competition being considered by NASA. As currently envisioned the Extreme Environments Challenge would focus on finding innovative solutions to the problems surrounding the survival and operations of scientific probes in extreme environments, such as on the surface of Venus where temperatures approach 500 C, the atmospheric pressure is about 90 times that at the Earth’s surface, and the atmosphere is corrosive. The approach being considered would entail a series of competitions that would focus on 1) electronics and mechanisms, and 2) thermal management, and 3) power with a culminating systems integration competition.


Sorry for the very late notice (RFI responses are due tomorrow); it took a couple weeks to get validated to post here after I registered.
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dtolman
post Nov 15 2013, 05:01 PM
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So when can we find out what the result was for the RFI?

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Of possible interest to those following high temperature electronics news:
A new 230 C rated capacitor has been released AFAIK this is significantly higher than other commercially available capacitors which previously struggled to hit the 200 C mark. I've read a few papers which suggest the ceiling for this kind of technique is around 250-260 C, so still room for improvement.

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For anyone doubting the commercial pressure/demand for hitting 300+ C, a tidbit from the latest edition of Offshore magazine on the latest Society of Petroleum Engineers conference. Readers here might be amused at the 3rd paragraph of the quoted section (below) - looking to commercial sectors to push high temperature electronics while they look back at NASA to push it forward. Perhaps there are some synergistic opportunities waiting out there? smile.gif

QUOTE
Already, there are wells today with parameters than cannot be measured because bottomhole temperature exceeds the operating limits of any known sensors. Short-term measurements, like those made with wireline tools, fare better than long-term ones, like those made with LWD strings that must withstand high bottomhole temperatures for hours or days. And production sensors, like downhole gauges, must be able to operate flawlessly for weeks at a time or longer. The current record for the most robust downhole pressure and temperature gauge performance is 410F (210C) for 15 days at 16,754 ft (5,107 m). Unfortunately, this record was set far above the well's total depth, leaving the operator to extrapolate the data to estimate actual bottomhole pressure and temperature. Along with electronic circuitry, batteries in particular are regarded as one of the weakest links in high-pressure/high-temperature technology.

Perhaps the most promising frontier of potential energy is the geothermal one. The prospect of being able to capture geothermal energy and convert it to electrical energy has been a long-time dream. But early experience in geothermal exploration shows that bottomhole temperatures of 600F (316C) or more can be expected. If we expect to operate logging and drilling tools at these temperatures, we need a breakthrough in electronics and sealing technology. We need to be able to make our electronic components out of new, more robust materials that can take the heat. We need seals that can contain superheated steam without failure.

An excellent asset has been the deep space exploration program. Temperature conditions on Mars, for example, can be harsh. If the oil and gas industry can adapt some of the technology that has enabled long-term equipment viability in a Mars Rover, it might be able to extend its reach. But the space program has experienced severe budget cutbacks. Will it be able to sustain its first-class R&D programs?
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dtolman
post Feb 4 2014, 02:25 AM
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Just 3 months later a series of new 260 C rated capacitors are now on the market.

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I had mentioned a DoE high temperature project last year. a 2013 report is out, though it seems to only focus on a new Epoxy formulation tested to 315C.

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The RFI xCalibrator mentioned was part of NASA's Centennial challenge, but I'll be damned if I can find anything on it at the site.
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stevesliva
post Jul 18 2014, 10:52 PM
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GE and New York State are moving from 100mm to 150mm wafers for SiC:
http://www.gereports.com/post/91863830615/...uld-make-planes
https://www.governor.ny.gov/press/07152014N...ring-Consortium

One caveat is that the NYS Semiconductor research efforts generate a lot of PR hotair. I'm not even sure GE is the leader in SiC integration. Nonetheless, the fact that the industry's already moving to 6" wafers for SiC does sort of reiterate my earlier point that devices will be VLSI from the get-go with no interregnum period where you have to cobble CPUs together from multiple discrete few-T chips.
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dtolman
post Jan 9 2015, 03:02 AM
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Its been a while, but there continues to be a steady drumbeat of every higher temperature commercial components that inch closer to (or even surpass) Venusian temperatures.
Some examples:
GE Announces 250+ C rated Transient Voltage Suppressor (Surge protector)
Roundup of high temperature Elastomers (think, Vulcanized Rubber), rated to 450 C
Ceramic packaging rated up to 1,000 C (!)

This recent conference mentions a talk on a diamond MOSFET (transistor) that worked in temps ranging up to 400 C (10K to 700C in the more detailed notes!).

A recent overview of high temperature electronics note the demand for 200-250 C rated components is growing - with ceramic, Tantalum, and film based capacitors competing in that temperature range.
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elakdawalla
post Jan 9 2015, 04:44 PM
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That's cool. Asking in near-perfect ignorance: what has to happen before component like these can actually be used in deep-space applications? I imagine the process of certifying their reliability is not a quick one.


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mcaplinger
post Jan 9 2015, 06:25 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jan 9 2015, 09:44 AM) *
what has to happen before component like these can actually be used in deep-space applications?

A full-up system operating in the expected mission environment (temp, pressure, etc.) for at least 3x the desired mission life would be an absolute minimum.


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Disclaimer: This post is based on public information only. Any opinions are my own.
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marsbug
post May 5 2015, 03:14 PM
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A grant has been made to the university of Arkensas to develop silicon carbide intergrated circuits for temperatures over 300 degrees celcius..


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dtolman
post May 11 2015, 08:16 PM
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A few items of interest:
Another new 250C tested commercial capacitor (from the graphs, might be able to perform briefly above 250). Also shock tested to 500G. The press release contains a nice guide to the commercial state of the art for downhole high-temp/high-pressure rated electronics. This caught my eye as useful to know:
The UK Energy Institutes Model Code Of Safe Practice originally standardized a definition for High-Pressure/High-Temperature (HPHT) wells, as having undisturbed bottom-well temperatures above 149C and needing pressure-control equipment with a rated working pressure of over 69MPa (10,000 psi). These limits are no longer adequate to distinguish todays most extreme wells, and new definitions are emerging. Although yet to become widely standardised, the ultra High-Pressure/High-Temperature (uHPHT) category now covers temperatures from 204C to 260C and pressure from 139MPa to 241MPa, while extremely High-Pressure/High-Temperature (xHPHT) refers to temperatures above 260C and pressures above 241MPa.

So guess xHPHT is the new google search term to enter in if you're looking for commercial Venusian survivable equipment smile.gif
Entering it into google shows a small, but growing list, of xHPHT research and products - this one caught my eye:
260 C rated transducer, and a 275 C rated application-specific integrated circuit It reports that the new ASIC has survived over 1,000 hours testing at 275C. Gotta wonder at what point COTS high-temp equipment doesn't require a nuclear reactor to cool anymore for a viable Venusian lander. More information on their high temperature IC development here

Not specifically high temperature, but
An overview of the current state of Thin Film Resistors - which I mentioned earlier this year as a future technology with high temperature thresholds.
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hendric
post May 12 2015, 08:14 PM
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Very interesting stuff, can't wait to see a rover on Earth's sister planet!


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JohnVV
post Jun 3 2015, 03:30 AM
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new(ish) carbon nanotube ram chips that can withstand 300C for a LONG time
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/15/06/0...e-nand-and-dram

http://www.computerworld.com/article/29294...ube-memory.html
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dtolman
post Aug 1 2015, 01:37 AM
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NASA has awarded a small grant to a University of Arkansas related company to design 500c rated SiC components for a future Venus surface mission.

EDIT: While I'm looking at the subject...
Penn State has developed a new polymer that can remain stable and store energy at temperatures up to 300 C. High Temperature Capacitors is one specific application mentioned in the article.
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nprev
post Aug 15 2015, 04:06 PM
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Pop-sci article on Venus electronics & applications. First I've heard of the concept rover mentioned there.


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