Spacecrafts are exposed to a multitude of environments that are not present at the surface of the earth including plasmas, high-energy charged particles, neutral gases, x-rays, gamma rays and ultraviolet radiation. Out of these, our primary focus is on the charged particle environment as it is a major radiation hazard for the satellites in low earth orbit. Radiation effects of these charged particles include total ionizing dose (TID), displacements damage, single event effects (SEES) and deep dielectric charging which can result in performance degradation or the failure of mission. Charged particle environment models are used by designers to mitigate these effects.
Majority of the existing databases on charged particle densities are restricted to a single orbit. The current models of the charged particle environment which are a compilation of such databases of different satellite missions collected at different time periods exhibit a high level of non-uniformity. The goal of applied research in space environments is to reduce the design margins and achieve a realistic balance between cost of environment accommodations and mission risk. This has generated the need for a highly accurate and reliable database of the charged particle flux in the ionosphere. Owing to the orbit manoeuvring payload, the satellite will be able to characterize the charged particle flux with altitude and uniformly model the charged particle environment in the upper ionosphere.
The detector is the most critical block of the charged particle monitoring system. Considering the constraints prevalent in cube satellites, we plan to implement a scintillation based detector that consists of the scintillation screens and the photo-sensing device.Such detectors require efficient readout circuits to accurately determine the energy of the incoming charged particle, which shall be implemented using traditional low noise analog pulse processing circuit. Considering the power and space constraints in a cubesat, the aim is to develop an innovative system which can achieve high speeds required by the application without compromising the power budget of the satellite.
Tanmay Gajare (Final Year, Electrical Engineering )
Yash Thakur (Third Year, Electrical Engineering)
Shubham Sahasrabudhe (Second Year, Electrical Engineering)