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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Non Invasive Instrumentation For Single Event Effects (NIISEE), Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

On this Phase 1 project, Adventium will identify and address key hurdles to achieve Radiation Hardening by Software (RHS) for Single Event Effects (SEEs) for modern COTS processors. The primary benefit this approach will be to reduce the time and cost to deploy new space-based capabilities by leveraging power efficient, pervasive mobile computing processors. These processors, however, are not explicitly hardened against radiation (rad-hard) and, consequently, can accumulate uncorrected faults which violate time and space partitioning requirements and lead to mission failure. Current rad-hard space-based processors are custom components, predominantly used only by the aerospace community. They are costly and have limited capabilities and longer product refresh cycles compared to COTS processors. These factors contribute to a high barrier for entry for organizations who can contribute to and participate in Science Mission Directorate (SMD) missions, further impacting innovation. We will define requirements for, and establish the technical feasibility of Non Invasive Instrumentation For Single Event Effects (NIISEE), a cross-checking architecture that leverages built-in debug features in mobile COTS processors. NIISEE will detect transient and permanent SEEs in a space-based environment, while providing high availability and mission critical functionality. Our key innovation is to provide run-time, low-level, non-intrusive fault detection by repurposing a debug capability that already exists in fielded devices. This debug capability is far more capable than Joint Test Action Group (JTAG) scan chains, and is intrinsic in modern Advanced Reduced Instruction Set Architecture (RISC) Machine (ARM) embedded processors. While intended for debugging embedded applications and System On Modules (SOMs) during development, the logic blocks remain on-die in fielded devices. More »

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