Thursday, 9 February 2017

460ºC and sulfuric rains: that is to live in Venus and NASA already has chips able to work there


460ºC and sulfuric rains: that is to live in Venus and NASA already has chips able to work there

The commitment of human beings in search for habitable planets s having eight "so close" is explained when you meet these conditions, such as vortices of Jupiter or Venus sulfuric rains. Difficult conditions that put our survival there and also that of our devices, although NASA has built the first computer to work in the extreme conditions of Venus.

The planet is the closest to the Sun following behind the Earth in our solar system, and that means the bat and the average temperature will be slightly higher than ours, namely 460 degrees Celsius on the surface. Only considering this data already it is possible to think that every device that wants to activate would have to endure very demanding conditions and not all the materials that usually we use support them, like the silicon.

In search of overcoming the challenge of two hours
But most sounded of the space race is the arrival of humans to certain points or devices that send us pictures from others, Venus has also figured in the goals and has tried to send long rugged devices. The record for survival on the surface of Venus of something built by human beings had the probe Venera 13 in 1981, 127 minutes, but since 1985 nothing is sent to the surface of the planet (yes to orbit it ).

What has been achieved now and how? As explained in the work they have resorted to transistors silicon carbide , which has proven resistant material as extreme temperatures and can be conductive to them, combining them with meshes of very fine wires to create ceramic chips capable of withstanding these extreme conditions. At least they have managed to achieve run for 521 hours (21.7 days) on the machine to extreme environment tests GEER ( Glenn Extreme Environments Rig ).

Above, a sample of the chip inserted into the ceramic and fiber optic substrate before subjecting it to the resistance tests. Below, the same after the 21.7 days in the GEER.

Thus, changing the semiconductor (chip silicon carbide instead of standard silicon) has been achieved according to NASA scientists the first demonstration that a chip could run for several days on the surface of Venus without systems Cooling aids or other types of protection. According to the researchers, with a little more advancement and maturity of the project can greatly improve the designs of the missions to Venus, especially to extend the duration of the same.

Do not just come by and say hello.
Current missions on the planet still based on probes orbiting around it to study and map its surface, as the Akatsuki mission (or PLANET-C, as initially known) of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). As for future missions is again a Venera Russians, the Venera-D, whose launch is planned for 2024 and it does have a lander or orbital mission planning at the Indian Space Agency (ISRO).

Perhaps if this new achievement gives way to resilient systems we will see some future mission more than "just" to get to Venus to orbit or go by, but to reach the surface as the next Venera. One thing that has been done on several occasions on Mars, where there is no downside to such high temperatures.

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