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A Novel Modular Radiation Hardening Approach Applied to a Synchronous Buck Converter

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa P.O.Box 385, Ethiopia
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Institute of Technology, Hawassa University, Hawassa P.O.Box 05, Ethiopia
Department. Electrical Engineering (ESAT)–ADVISE, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(5), 513;
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 May 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Tolerant Electronics)
PDF [718 KB, uploaded 8 May 2019]


Radiation and extreme temperature are the main inhibitors for the use of electronic devices in space applications. Radiation challenges the normal and stable operation of DC-DC converters, used as power supply for onboard systems in satellites and spacecrafts. In this situation, special design techniques known as radiation hardening or radiation tolerant designs have to be employed. In this work, a module level design approach for radiation hardening is addressed. A module in this sense is a constituent of a digital controller, which includes an analog to digital converter (ADC), a digital proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller, and a digital pulse width modulator (DPWM). As a new Radiation Hardening by Design technique (RHBD), a four module redundancy technique is proposed and applied to the digital voltage mode controller driving a synchronous buck converter, which has been implemented as hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation block in MATLAB/Simulink using Xilinx system generator based on the Zynq-7000 development board (ZYBO). The technique is compared, for reliability and hardware resources requirement, with triple modular redundancy (TMR), five modular redundancy (FMR) and the modified triplex–duplex architecture. Furthermore, radiation induced failures are emulated by switching all duplicated modules inputs to different signals, or to ground during simulation. The simulation results show that the proposed technique has 25% and 30%longer expected life compared to TMR and FMR techniques, respectively, and has the lowest hardware resource requirement compared to FMR and the modified triplex–duplex techniques.
Keywords: TMR; FMR; 4MR; triplex–duplex; FPGA-based digital controller; radiation tolerant TMR; FMR; 4MR; triplex–duplex; FPGA-based digital controller; radiation tolerant
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Banteywalu, S.; Khan, B.; De Smedt, V.; Leroux , P. A Novel Modular Radiation Hardening Approach Applied to a Synchronous Buck Converter. Electronics 2019, 8, 513.

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