BAE Systems wins NASA grant for super-cold semiconductors

MANASSAS, Va., 28 June 2005. BAE Systems recently received a $12.5 million contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for research and development of extreme temperature technology.

MANASSAS, Va., 28 June 2005. BAE Systems recently received a $12.5 million contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for research and development of extreme temperature technology.

BAE Systems' Manassas facility will explore techniques to extend the performance range of semiconductor devices that will enable NASA to continue exploring and examining the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. This technology will allow data gathering in the extreme temperatures of space without providing additional and costly protective systems required to maintain the operating temperature of the semiconductor devices.

Through a combination of process and device modifications, the basic semiconductor device will be modified to operate at temperatures as low as minus 230 C. The modified device can then be used to design custom Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) that will operate at extreme temperatures without external protective measures.

"This research will enable NASA's continued exploration of the universe and we're delighted to play a role," said Ted Jamba, BAE Systems' program manager at Manassas.

BAE Systems has a 20-year history of providing radiation-hardened solutions for U.S. space programs. Its RAD6000 computers were installed on each of the still-operating Mars Rovers -- the only control and data computers aboard the two Rovers -- to execute flight, landing and exploration operations on Mars. The RAD750 represents the next-generation of space microprocessors, and was first launched onboard NASA's Deep Impact mission -- which is expected to get an up-close view of comet Tempel 1 on the Fourth of July.

BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery, and support of advanced defense and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. The company designs, manufactures, and supports military aircraft, combat vehicles, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, and guided weapon systems. For more information, see www.iews.na.baesystems.com.

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