How to create radio chips that can work in hell
Researchers of the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTN), the University of Arkansas (USA) and the International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) are developing radio electronic devices designed to work in the most extreme conditions. One such project is an all-terrain vehicle for studying the surface of Venus, where the average daily temperature approaches +500 ° C, and the surrounding atmosphere is filled with sulfuric acid vapors.
But space is by no means the only place with such conditions. For example, the temperature inside the gas generator is about +1000 ° C. To check the condition of turbine blades and other parts, the unit must be completely stopped for a fairly long time, which leads to multi-million losses of energy producers.
This problem could be solved by special sensors installed inside the turbine, with which it would be possible to control its technical state during operation. However, for this they must withstand the truly hellish hell – about +1000 ° C, and, being attached to the rotating blades – also the load of 14,000 gauss.
Currently, scientists at the University of Arkansas are developing sensors for the combustion chamber, which will become part of a computerized system for monitoring the efficiency of a diesel engine. They also study the possibility of installing electronic instruments on a bit for drilling oil wells, where the temperature can reach +150 ° C.
As a material for the manufacture of “extreme” electronics, scientists chose gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), which have good thermal conductivity and the ability to work stably at high temperatures.
The first device was a mixer developed by a team of Professor Ana Rusu from KTN and produced by specialists from the University of Arkansas, led by Professor of Electrical Engineering Alan Mantut. The device converts a 59-MHz radio signal into 500 kHz, which is necessary for its further processing.