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Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Unit Catalogue 2007/08

EE30143 Space weather & space electronics

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX100
Before taking this unit you must take EE20004
Aims: To review solar variability and its influence on interplanetary space and the near-Earth space environment.
To review the fundamental operating principles of various electronic devices and the effect of the near-Earth space environment on their performance.
Learning Outcomes:
After completing the unit the student should have a basic knowledge of:
1. The key features of the Sun, solar radiation and solar variability
2. The nature of interplanetary space
3. How solar variability influences the behaviour of the near-Earth space environment
4. The basic operating principles of, and ageing and failure mechanisms for, a range of solid state and vacuum electronic devices used in the space environment
5. The terminology and relevant units of measure for quantities related to radiation and radiation effects in electronic materials and devices
6. The basic mechanisms of radiation effects on electronic materials and devices.
Students will be able to identify and summarise the key points describing the Sun, its variability, and the near-Earth space environment. They will learn to apply basic physical principles to solve simple problems, and gain a greater understanding of the effect of electromagnetic waves and radiations on semiconductor devices.
1. The Sun, solar radiation, and solar variability over various time scales
2. The nature of inter-planetary space, including the solar wind
3. The near-Earth space environment; including the magnetosphere, ionosphere and space-weather
4. The effect of space-weather and cosmic rays on space platforms
5. An introduction to solid state and vacuum devices used in the space environment: including principles of operation, and ageing and failure mechanisms
6. The effects of radiation on semiconductors
7. Radiation-hard devices (silicon on sapphire, silicon on insulator and compound semiconductors)
8. Packaging and shielding - concepts of total integrated dose, dose-depth curves, and shielding.