RFIC Techniques for Deep Space Planetary Exploration

This presentation focuses on circuit and system design techniques for science instrumentation intended to operate in deep space and on other planetary bodies. Specific things we discuss are the importance of calibration and stability in both active (radar) and passive (radiometer/spectrometer) instruments, managing Allan variance and the effects of radiation and aging on underlying instrument sensitivity and accuracy. Several examples will be discussed including the NASA Water Hunting Advanced Terahertz Spectrometer on an UltraSmall Platform, being developed to explore the isotopic ratio of comets in the outer solar system, and the ground penetrating radar for the Mars Science Helicopter, NASA’s next stand alone helicopter to the red planet.