Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image source Freepik
Space exploration has been pushing the boundaries of human discovery. Every new day we wake up to the news of a new discovery that is related to space exploration. Countries are trying to outdo each other on who will do more exploration. Even private entities have joined this bandwagon and are making massive moves in the space industry. At the heart of the space exploration are the discrete semiconductor components. These are individual electronic components that play different roles in the general working of an electric circuit and application.
Semiconductor is the main material that is used for making these discrete components. It is packed with an array of properties that make it perfect for electronic applications. One of the properties is the ability to conduct electric current only under specific conditions. A diode will allow the flow of current in one direction and not the other.
Keep reading as we discuss how the space exploration industry has benefited from the use of discrete semiconductor components.
The role of discrete semiconductors in space exploration
As we have mentioned, discrete semiconductors are at the core of space exploration. They make it possible for the crucial activities and events that are related to space exploration to take place. Spacecrafts and other space vehicles rely on discrete semiconductors to travel into space. Additionally, all the data-related operations that are related to space exploration are also powered by discrete semiconductor technology.
Before we look at the benefits, here are some of the key roles of discrete semiconductors in space exploration.
- Spacecrafts and satellites: These two are the most important hardware technological products that are always associated with space exploration. They perform heavy tasks including physical movement in space and as well as supporting communication between space and Earth. Discrete semiconductors are heavily featured in the construction of spacecraft and satellite devices.
- Navigation systems: Navigating in the space requires high levels of accuracy. They also need adequate power to facilitate the navigation. Semiconductors are used in different navigation systems that cover the space exploration industry. One such navigation system is the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)which are known for its high levels of accuracy.
- Data and communication in space exploration: Most space applications rely on data, whether it is here on earth or in the space. Discrete semiconductors facilitate the exchange of data between different components in space exploration. For example, data will need to be sent between the Earth and the space vehicle. Communication is also of great importance when working on space projects.
- Sensing and imaging in space exploration: How do we get clear images and footage of celestial objects in space? This is done through various sensing and imaging devices, most of which are powered by discrete semiconductor components. Through sensing and imaging technologies, researchers are able to collect important data about outer space.
Benefits of discrete semiconductors in space exploration
Now that you know the roles or uses of discrete semiconductors in space applications, here are some of the key benefits of these components in the field of space exploration:
They can withstand harsh environment and radiation
The space environment not only to the living organisms but also to the electronic components and other soldi objects. Basic electronic components may not have he ability to survive such conditions. This is where the importance of discrete semiconductors comes in. These components are manufactured in a way that they can continue operating normally without being electrically or mechanically damaged.
The hardened surfaces of the semiconductors provide protection against cosmic radiation. Discrete semiconductors are also well protected from the drastic temperature variations in the space environment.
Discrete semiconductors have a direct impact on the performance of various devices and systems used in space exploration. The fast-switching speed of some components directly translates to the speed at which devices and components in this field will operate. It implies that data and communication in the industry will be at high speed. High performance is also relevant in the navigation of spacecraft and other forms of space vehicles.
Discrete semiconductors enhance the reliability of the devices and systems used in space exploration. As we have already mentioned, semiconductors can easily withstand unfavorable conditions such as high temperatures and cosmic radiation. All these contribute to the reliability of the space applications. It means that space systems will serve their purposes as expected without constantly breaking down or even malfunctioning.
Reliability and durability tend to lower the cost of running space exploration projects.
Flexible and scalable
Discrete semiconductors make it easy to work on space exploration projects. Since each component is designed to perform a specific function, you can easily add it to a project to improve the performance of a device and replace it with another semiconductor component.
Miniaturization in the space exploration
The use of discrete semiconductor components has a direct impact on the size of the devices used for space exploration. It has resulted in compact devices. Space crafts and other hardware devices are getting smaller over the years, keeping up with the development of semiconductor technology.
Similarly, discrete semiconductor have minimized the weight problem that is associated with space devices. They make it easy to implement light-weight devices for space exploration.
There is no doubt that discrete semiconductors have revolutionized the space exploration industry. They have made it possible to do things that initially were deemed impossible. As semiconductor technology keeps advancing, we should expect more developments and innovations in this industry. Entry of new technologies in space exploration such as AI and nanosatellites will still rely on the operations of discrete semiconductors.
Are you a player in the space exploration industry? Whichever product or technology that you are working on, you will always need discrete semiconductors. Technically, they are present in every essential aspect of space exploration. Buy these components from reliable discrete semiconductor distributors and sourcing agents as you will be assured of quality components that will be suitable for space exploration.
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