A wide operating temperature range, digitally controlled linear low-dropout regulators (LDOs) ensuring stable operation of low-dropout voltage regulators for space and harsh environment applications will be beneficial to NASA solar exploration missions such as to Jupiter (Europa Mission), to Mars (InSight, Mars Exploration, MAVEN, potential MRS Mars return samples), future Solar Probes, and other missions to explore deep atmosphere and surface of giant planets similar to Juno and Cassini. Other anticipated new NASA missions for science and exploration of the universe are expected to challenge current power management specifications. Alphacore's LDO voltage regulator can help aide in supporting electronic systems that can accommodate the ever-growing power requirements for NASA's science and exploration missions. WFIRST - scheduled launch mid 2020's - a next-generation observatory to carry out wide-field imaging and slit-less spectroscopic surveys of the near-infrared sky, with an emphasis on studying dark energy and exoplanets has critical power needs. Future Earth-observing missions planned for 2021 and later that include ECOSTRESS, GeoCARB, HyspIRI, MAIA, InSAR, NISAR, Pre-ACE, TEMPO, and TROPICS are all expected to have increased power management demands. Additional potential applications include solar system exploration missions such as Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus missions.
Alphacore's rad-hard LDO is a great match for a range of governmental and commercial applications for radiation-tolerant systems including High Energy Physics (HEP) experiments (e.g., CERN) particle detection, medical irradiation and imaging systems, nuclear weapon proliferation monitoring, and space-based sensors. Research in these areas will enable the main avenues of discovery to increase knowledge of human kind and perhaps find answers to mysteries such as the origin and form of the Universe. Boeing has provided a strong letter of support to work with Alphacore. This LDO could enhance the system capabilities of Boeing rad-hard programs that have high efficiency power electronics requirements. Boeing has offered its radiation testing facilities to carry out this project. Cobham is interested in this program both as a potential customer and vendor of the LDO. Other candidate partner or customer companies include rad-hard semiconductor manufacturers and vendors (TI, Honeywell, Microsemi, DDC, and ON) and aerospace/defense systems developers and integrators, e.g., Raytheon, Orbital, ATK, L-3 Communications, United Technologies, SSL, General Dynamics, Sierra Nevada Space Systems, and Dynetics Space Systems. Main government agencies to be targeted are DoD, NASA, NOAA, US Geological Survey (USGS). Commercial space platforms that will benefit from the proposed LDO include both LEO and GEO telecommunication satellites, such as Intelsat, Direct TV, XM radio, Orbcomm and Iridium.