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Radiation Characterization of Gyro and IMUs for LEO Operations

Since 2012 Sensonor's gyros and IMUs have flown in several CubeSats launched by universities, government R&D and commercial operators worldwide. Today around 200 units are flying and no operator has published or shared much test data that can openly be released to the space community.

Together with key customers, the Norwegian Space Agency and the radiation lab of German Fraunhofer Institute an extensive test plan was developed for TID and SEE testing late 2018. The intent was to provide the industry with an open technical document that in detail is sharing all data and failure modes that were observed, and hereby giving valuable and transparent information to communities considering these systems for flight. A total of 42 systems were tested.

The systems were characterised before the radiation, then exposed to radiation until failure, then repaired and finally characterised again in order to understand the impact of radiation. The paper covers the test plan, tests that were carried out, detailed failure analysis and a conclusion on the expected capability.

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