Satellites & Space Systems


PDC Space & Rad-Hard Pedigree

PDC, the leader for more than 50 years in high reliability motion control, power control, and data networking technology for the aerospace and defense industries, has provided space-qualified radiation hardened solutions to the space industry for more than 30 years. PDC space-qualified products are field proven, compact solutions that meet space’s extreme environmental requirements, while reducing space, weight, and power consumption, along with total cost of ownership.

Our microelectronic components and single board computers have been qualified by NASA, ESA, and JAXA, as well as thousands of missions serving the space community for decades, and have experienced zero flight failures in space!


Space Orbits

Low Earth Orbits (LEO) - 200km < LEO < 2000km

Low Earth Orbits pass through the proton and electron particles trapped in the Van Allen belts several times each day.

  • Missions using PDC products include ISS, Hubble, Gonets, Proba III, ALOS, GOSAT, Meteor-3, and Pleiades.

Medium Earth Orbits (MEO) 2000km < MEO < 35000km
Medium Earth Orbits pass through the Van Allen belts each day, but also have long exposures to the cosmic ray and solar flare environments regardless of their inclination.

  • Missions using PDC products include GPS, Galileo, and Glonass.

Geostationary Earth Orbits (GEOs) and Near-Earth Interplanetary GEO = 35760km, L2 = 1,500,000km
Geostationary Earth Orbits are exposed to galactic cosmic rays and solar flare particles.

  • Missions using PDC products include Gaia, JWST, Kepler, Planck, Dawn, Hershel Space Observatory, and Jason.

Interplanetary Missions
Interplanetary Missions are exposed to galactic cosmic rays, solar flare particles, planets, asteroids, and comets.

  • Missions using PDC products include Messenger, OSIRIS-REx, Rosetta, Juno, and Mars Curiosity Rover.


Radiation Hardening Techniques

Advanced Commercially-Available Components with RAD-PAK® Technology
PDC’s RAD-PAK® technology improves TID (Total Ionizing Dose) hardness by shielding the semiconductor die. RAD-PAK® enables the latest commercially-available electronic integrated circuits to be deployed on various space missions, by tailoring the shielding thickness to mitigate the specific space-radiation environment.


Radiation Hardened by Design & Process
PDC has successfully deployed mixed-signal and digital ASICs on multiple space missions via its portfolio of motion feedback and motor control and drive solutions. To mitigate TID & SEE (Single Event Effects) these Multi-Chip Modules (MCMs) incorporate ICs employing the latest state-of-the-art rad-hard by design techniques, as well as modern dielectrically-isolated semiconductor processes. PDC selectively applies rad-hard libraries and or processes that are proven to be radiation hardened to optimize performance.

Radiation Hardened by Design & Process Solutions
Synchro/Resolver to Digital Motor Controllers
Reference Oscillators Motor Drives  


Triple Mode Redundancy (TMR) & Error-Correction Codes (ECC)
In our high-reliability subsystems, PDC employs TMR and ECC to mitigate TID & SEE. In both methods, failure-free operation is ensured by the use of redundancy. In the case of TMR, the output of three processors is run through a voting algorithm, and an error in one processor may then be “outvoted” by the other two processors. Additionally, incorrect data is resolved by applying Error Correction Codes and computing algorithms with redundant data-bits. With multiple error correction tools, the level of correction can be tailored to the severity of the environment.