Radiation resistance is crucial for maintaining the cable dielectric and electrical performance in space

Radiation Resistance

Radiation exposure can cause a change in the cable dielectric, degrade electrical performance, and ultimately lead to degradation of the cable jacket, causing foreign object debris (FOD) concern. A cable’s sensitivity to radiation exposure depends on its location. Designers often carefully manage radiation exposures within the satellite bus to protect other components below the exposure limits, even for common coaxial cable plastics. However, one of a cable’s critical roles is to interconnect remote functions, meaning RF cables often must exit the safety of the bus to reach a remote antenna. In these scenarios, radiation resistance can become critical. One method that cable designers have used for radiation resistance is to select radiation-hard materials for the dielectric, such as silicon dioxide (SiO2), which can withstand radiation exposures above 100 MRad.

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