"A Methodology for Estimating On-orbit Static Single Event Upset Rates Using CREME96"

Joshua D. Engel, Keith S. Morgan, and Michael J. Wirthlin
Brigham Young University


Building a reliable space-based system often requires estimating radiation effects, including Total Ionizing Dose (TID) and Single Event Upsets (SEU). Standard methods exist to estimate radiation effects in space system components. Experts use these methods to report expected effects, but often they do not report the specific details or steps used to calculate these rates. This paper will document one such methodology of predicting SEU rates.  We will first review CREME96 and introduce our method of static SEU rate prediction. We then discuss CREME96 caveats both published in the literature and discovered through our own experiments. Finally, we present some experimental results. 

CREME96 can be used to predict static heavy-ion induced and proton-induced SEU rates. When using CREME96 a number of steps must be taken to derive an actual rate: first a model of the particle flux in a particular orbit must be developed, and then SEU rates are calculated using device specific information.  In this paper, we will detail each step and the parameters needed.  Often users may not have the parameters required (such as RPP dimensions and funnel depth), so we will report the approach we (and others) use for selection. 

We are also developing a program that automates parameter input, facilitating the tedious CREME96 webpage inputs. When finished, this program will allow the user to create the request files necessary to construct orbit models and calculate SEU rates in CREME. One example of what this program will allow us to do is to rapidly create many orbits (varying the altitude, inclination, solar weather, etc) where the user will be able to quickly see the difference in SEU rates.

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