NASA Creates Computer Chip To Survive Venus Heat

Posted: Feb 9 2017, 6:54am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

NASA Creates Computer Chip to Survive Venus Heat
Integrated circuit before (above) and after (below) testing in Venus atmospheric conditions. Credits: NASA
  • NASA Built First Computer Chip That Can Survive Harsh Conditions of Venus

NASA’s research team developed a new technology to bear severe heat on Venus

NASA scientists developed a new electronic system at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. The new technology will save astronauts from severe heat of Venus.

The technology will also help in the designs and concepts for future missions that will make longer stays on Venus tolerable said Phil Neudeck, lead electronics engineer for this work.

Currently, the landers can only stay for few hours on Venus,because Venus has extreme weather. Its 860 degrees Fahrenheit on Venus,that’s more than an oven’s heat. Venus atmosphere is rich in carbon dioxide.

It’s difficult for commercial electronics to work on Venus, and the landers used pressure resistant vessels to save the electronics in the past. The vessels could survive for few hours, besides they were also expensive.

NASA wanted to develop something new to deal with these issues, so Genn team took the challenge. The team developed very durable silicon carbon semiconductor integrated circuits and also implemented them.

The team tested the system in GEER,Glenn Extreme Environments Rig that can simulate the harsh conditions on Venus. The system survived for 521 hours on Venus that’s 100 times more for electronics to work than the previous electronics.

The team tested the chips in exposed condition without any packaging on the venues surface, and was happy that both circuits worked for long even when the test ended.

In the beginning of 2017, NASA’s team explained identical silicon carbon integrated circuits for 1000 hours at 900 degrees Fahrenheit in oven. The circuits were basically developed to function in hot areas of fuel efficient aircraft engines.

The new technology will help scientists explore more on the surface of Venus, and it also effects on certain applications on the earth, like aircraft engines will have less emissions, and improved function, explained Gary Hunter, principle investigator for Venus surface electronics development.

Research and test details were published in a journal article, “Prolonged Silicon Carbon integrated circuit operations in Venus surface atmospheric conditions”.

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