Monitoring and building our understanding of space weather is necessary to protect current and future astronauts and hardware, as well as further our understanding of its effects on atmospheric development and loss. This project seeks to develop a radiation-hardened sensor frontend in order to measure the ion composition of the solar wind aboard the Solar Probe ANalyzer for Ions (SPAN-Ion). SPAN-Ion uses time-of-flight mass spectrometry to distinguish ions by their mass: charge ratios; the target architecture for future missions decreases mass and increases speed in exchange for several orders of magnitude reduction in sensor response. A modified constant fraction discriminator provides time-of-arrival measurements independent of pulse amplitude and power spectral density. The frontend was designed using the Berkeley Analog Generator to enable agile design iteration, cross-applicability to other target specifications, and semi-automated verification against radiation single event effects and total ionizing dose.
Project currently funded by: