Invisible shield for space electronics

Magnetic field deflects ionized particles away from sensitive equipment


When a spacecraft travels from Earth’s surface, protection from the magnetic field is diminished and the performance characteristics of electronic circuits contained within the spacecraft are at increased risk of degradation caused by charged particles that collide with the space vehicle. Shielding is currently addressed with lead or other deflecting/absorbing metals and circuit redundancy.

To recreate the protection provided by Earth’s magnetic field, Navy researchers have developed a magnetically shielded circuit board and integrated circuit package. One or more conductive solenoids are used to form a magnetic field either around the circuit board or just around the integrated circuit package. Electrical currents are sent through the conductive solenoids to produce the magnetic fields which deflect charged particles away from sensitive chips that are on the circuit board. This magnetic shielding is meant to be used in combination with a physical shield common to spacecraft whereby the magnetic shielding deflects the secondary electrons produced when high energy particles interact with the physical shield.

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