ALISO VIEJO, Calif. Lockheed Martin representatives selected Microsemi’s master reference oscillator for the U.S. Air Force's Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite program. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor of the SBIRS program, which is replacing the 1970s Defense Support Program constellation.
Decreasing costs for satellite launches have created new opportunities for nontraditional small satellites in alternative orbits. The application of expensive radiation-hardened (rad-hard) certified components is often not warranted for these applications. Rather, radiation-tolerant technology can provide these smaller projects with both substantial savings and an enhanced safety margin. Reliable methods to determine if commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components are radiation tolerant can allow designers to screen components for the target radiation criteria that meet the mission requirements.