Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC) has announced their LX7730 radiation-tolerant telemetry controller integrated circuit (IC) has been successfully qualified and certified by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) as Qualified Manufacturers List (QML) Class V and Q — the qualifications, key requirements for the LX7730 to operate in space environments, are mandatory for design-ins for space programs and for manufacturers to be listed on the QML by the DLA.
As the first member of Microsemi’s radiation-tolerant Space System Manager (SSM) family of special purpose mixed signal devices, launched in March of 2015, the LX7730 integrates the required functions in satellite telemetry systems. These functions include a 64-channel analog multiplexer, a 12-bit analog to digital converter, break-before-make switching and a precision adjustable current source. It supports parallel or dual serial peripheral interfaces (SPIs) and also provides cold sparing. The new IC interfaces with radiation-tolerant field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), such as Microsemi’s new RTG4™ high-speed signal processing FPGA, and the RTAX family offered in the company’s growing portfolio of FPGA solutions.
Microsemi’s expertise in mixed signal space solutions comes from over 20 years of custom and standard design and manufacturing experience in providing its customers with innovative space system solutions. As satellite manufacturers typically require Class V and Q qualifications, the new designations provide customers with an added level of assurance that the LX7730 has met the stringent industry standards. The QML qualification achievement allows designers across the entire spectrum of space designs, from low cost commercial and scientific applications to human rated and top priority government systems, to use the parts without cumbersome part selection justifications or source control drawings.
According to Allied Market Research, in its “Small Satellite Market by Type” report from March 2017, the smallsat market is expected to grow approximately 20 percent during 2016-2022. The LX7730 enables a higher level of flight-critical telemetry acquisition without compromising the small form-factor and low mass of these emerging smallsat programs, while at the same time reducing power consumption and providing mitigation for the damaging effects of radiation in space. Additional benefits of the new IC are a significant reduction in board space and weight compared to traditional discrete solutions, making this a desirable component for telemetry data handling in small satellite systems.
The newly qualified versions of Microsemi’s LX7730, the LX7730MFQ-Q and the LX7730MFQ-V, now in production, are ideal for a number of applications within the aerospace market, including communications, Earth observations and weather satellites.
Dorian Johnson, Microsemi’s high-reliability product marketing manager, reported that successfully completing these qualifications and obtaining QML status are vital in providing the highest quality and most reliable solutions demanded by the firm's customers,. The LX7730 offers space system architects and designers the highest level of integration for telemetry applications available today as well as guarantees they are using a product that meets the stringent requirements of MIL-PRF-38535 defining the quality assurance and reliability conditions for the manufacture of ICs for high-reliability applications.
Drew Boudreau, principal systems engineer at Trident Systems Incorporated, added that his company selected the LX7730 for their telemetry and control card designed to the ANSI ratified 3U SpaceVPX specification based on the critical functions offered in the device. The 64-channel multiplexer is key to addressing the company's needs for acquiring numerous system sensor data and paired with an RTAX-SL provides a true low power telemetry processing solution.
Reiner Henkelmann, EE system and component engineer at Hensoldt Optronics, noted that increasing demands to reduce printed circuit board (PCB) area combined with the high level of functionality integrated into the LX7730 led the firm to select the telemetry controller for our precision optical design for space. In addition to processing housekeeping data such as temperatures, voltages and supply currents, the LX7730 takes an active part in several closed loop controls necessary for an accurate laser operation with low electromagnetic interference (EMI) levels. Regular calibration procedures reduce temperature and lifetime dependent drifts and ensure the required accuracy of the acquired digitized values.