Ross Bannatyne, VORAGO Technologies
CubeSats - miniature satellites no larger than a briefcase - are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. Economies of scale in components, subsystems, launch equipment, and logistics have already and will continue to enable many cost-effective new satellite launch ventures and projects.
Radiation testing of semiconductors is time-consuming and expensive. There are limited test facilities available and often a long waiting list to get "beam time." It is, however, an important part of product testing that is required for devices that will be used in high-radiation environments, such as space.
While the rest of the engineering world has been developing embedded systems using the ARM microcontroller unit (MCU) architecture for many years, the high-reliability (hi-rel) market has been slow to adopt it. That is a pity because the biggest benefit of using an ARM-based microcontroller is the ease of development that ARM offers, by virtue of the large supporting ecosystem of tools.