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Silicon carbide circuitry to withstand the hellish conditions on Venus RSS feed
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wildcard

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Joined: 17/10/2019
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Location: Mount Kuring-Gai NSW Australia
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In a 28th April 2021 article at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers Spectrum Magazine web site, researchers Alan Mantooth,
Carl-Mikael Zetterling and Ana Rusu report on the challenges of
operating electronics on a lander on the surface of Venus where the
average temperature is 464 °C, the atmosphere is dense with highly
corrosive droplets of sulphuric acid, and the atmospheric pressure at
the surface is about 90 times that of Earth.

Mantooth, et. al wrote:
But the second planet from the sun has such an extreme environment that the longest-lasting lander, the Soviet Venera 13, was able to send data for only 2 hours and 7 minutes.


Mantooth, et. al wrote:
Materials technology has advanced enough since the 1960s, when the former Soviet Union began launching its Venera series of landers to Venus, to ensure that the outer hull and mechanics of a future lander will be able to last for months. But what about those tender electronics? Today’s silicon-based systems would not last a day under Venus conditions. (We mean an Earth day, of course. A Venusian day is 243 Earth days.) Even adding active cooling systems might not give them more than an extra 24 hours.

The answer is a semiconductor that combines two plentiful elements, carbon and silicon, in a 1:1 ratio—silicon carbide. SiC can withstand extremely high temperatures and still work just fine. Scientists at the NASA Glenn Research Center have already operated SiC circuits for more than a year at 500 °C, demonstrating not only that they can take the heat but can do so over the kinds of lifetimes a Venus lander will need.

Silicon carbide is already making its mark in power electronics for solar inverters, electric-vehicle motor-drive electronics, and advanced smart-grid switch gear. But creating SiC circuits that can control a rover on the hellscape of Venus and send data from there to Earth will test this material to its limits.


Article here :-
https://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/materials/the-radio-we-could-send-to-hell

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place
Mount Kuring-Gai NSW 2080
Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
wildcard@wildcard-innovations.com.au
https://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
[Email] [WWW]
 
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