Adaptive and Evolvable Analog Electronics for Space Applications
Development of analog electronic solutions for space avionics is expensive and lengthy. Lack of flexible analog devices, counterparts to digital Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA), prevents analog designers from rapid prototyping, and forces them to expensive custom design, fabrication, and qualification of application specific integrated circuits (ASIC). The limitation come from two directions: first, commercial Field Programmable Analog Arrays (FPAA) have little variability in the components offered on-chip; and second, these are only qualified for military grade temperatures, at best. However, more variability is needed for covering many sensing and control applications. Furthermore, in order to save mass, energy and wiring, there is strong interest in developing extreme environment electronics and avoiding thermal and radiation protection altogether. This means electronics that maintain correct operation while exposed to temperature extremes e.g., on Moon (-180°C to +125°C). This paper describes a recent version of a FPAA design, the JPL Self-Reconfigurable Analog Array (SRAA). It overcomes both limitations, offering a variety of analog cells inside the array together with the possibility of self-correction at extreme temperatures. A companion digital ASIC designed for algorithmic control, including a genetic algorithm implementation, is currently under fabrication.
KeywordsAdaptive Hardware Field Programmable Arrays
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