In the space radiation environment (similarly to other radiation environment), the electrical, electronic and electro-mechanical devices (EEEs) suffer a radiation damage induced by cumulative events and single-event upsets, i.e. single-event effects (SEE), total ionizing dose (TID), displacement damage (TNID).
The industrial, institutional and research centres operating within the national territory, in the sector of EEE components, must be coordinated, supported and represented also at an international level. Italy has extensive experience in the field of design, manufacturing and use of electronical devices for several market sectors and, in particular, for the space sector.
In such context, the key elements of the supply chain are the availability of specific infrastructures such as foundries, design centres, research centres and test facilities, including radiation facilities.
The ASIF (ASI Supported Irradiation Facilities) programme started as a partnership agreement between the Italian institutions involved in the space, technology and particle accelerator research: ASI, ENEA and INFN.
Since the 2013-15 three-year activity plan, the ASI has been strengthening the concept that the development of a future generation of EEE components is an area of strategic interest for the future investments.
The ASIF programme aims at establishing a coordinated and interactive set of radiation systems throughout the country, at the service of the national and international space community. Furthermore, the project will allow to conduct research and technology programmes targeted at expanding the knowledge of the mechanisms of the damage induced by radiations in the space environment, in view of new and challenging space missions.
The ASIF project stems from the synergy between different institutions engaged in scientific and technological studies and researches, which are really interesting for the whole space, scientific and industrial community, on the effect of radiation environments on the survival in space of hardware / goods. The Italian radiation infrastructures are a primary, and in many ways unique, resource in the European landscape, and their structured and coordinated exploitation may encourage:
• a more in-depth knowledge of human and hardware behavior in hostile environments,
• a knowledge transfer from the field of research on elementary particles and particle revealers to the scientific space community and industry, with undeniable competitive returns on the industry and the same space research.
Overall, the programme is developed through three main lines:
• adjustment of the test facilities to the space standards;
• creation of a coordinated set of radiation structures, with: front end, database, standard procedures for access to the use of the beam of radiation, reporting, monitoring of the beam intensity and fluence, determinations of the total ionizing dose (TID) and the total non-ionizing dose (TNID), dosimetry, structure qualification process based on the ESA guidelines and certification procedures, where applicable;
• operation and specific research projects, with the active participation of institutions, industry and users.
More detailed and updated information on the ASIF activities is available on the website: www.asif.asi.it.