Military Embedded Systems

Gaining Precision in Space Applications: Using Voltage References for Precision Signal Paths

Eletter Product

Often when selecting a component in the signal path of a satellite system, it is difficult to find a device with the radiation tolerance and the accuracy required. Signal integrity is after all the key specification when designing an analog signal chain.

The main causes of issues with the integrity of the signal chain can be divided into two categories: inaccuracies due to noise and inaccuracies due to shifts in voltage.

  • Noise in a system can be reduced with the correct use of filters and the averaging of measurements when converting a signal from the analog domain to the digital domain. However, large or complex filters require board space and increased component count, not to mention added weight, resulting in higher costs.
  • Voltage shifts in a system may be reduced with fairly simple additional circuitry, although making adjustments across a full temperature range presents added difficulty. The cost of the additional circuitry is also high.

And of course, shifts due to radiation are critical in space applications. So what can you do? While it's important to consider all components in the signal path of a satellite system, one component is the most critical in achieving precision performance: the voltage reference. Download this white paper from Intersil to learn more about using rad hard voltage references to gain precision in space applications.

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