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MOSCOW, August 30 Construction of a center for testing electronics, including for spacecraft, for resistance to various types of ionizing radiation and electromagnetic pulses, began at the Rosatom enterprise, the Russian Federal Nuclear Center – the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics named after Academician Zababakhin (RFNC-VNIITF, ZATO Snezhinsk, Chelyabinsk Region).
“Concrete pouring of the foundation of the building of the Electronic Component Base Testing Center has taken place… Now the builders have started erecting the building,” the press service of RFNC-VNIITF reported.
The center is planned to be equipped with modern sources of electron beams, protons, neutrons and heavy charged particles to ensure certification tests of electronic components for resistance to various types of ionizing radiation and electromagnetic pulses.
“In 50% of cases, the reduction in the service life of spacecraft is associated with the impact of ionizing radiation from outer space. Trends in the development of modern microelectronics associated with minimizing the topological dimensions and supply voltage and the use of new materials often lead to an increase in the sensitivity of products to the effects of ionizing radiation, the emergence of new radiation effects,” said Oleg Tkachev, Deputy Head of the Department of RFNC-VNIITF, whose words are given in the message.
In order to predict the behavior of equipment in outer space, it is necessary to conduct tests in terrestrial conditions, he noted. RFNC-VNIITF is one of the base organizations where a modern complex will be built, which will allow modeling the effect of cosmic radiation and other artificial radiation. The “heart” of this building will be a cyclotron capable of accelerating ions to an energy of 15 MeV/nucleon. This complex will also house neutron generators, electron accelerators and a proton accelerator.
The project should be completed by 2026.
“After the construction of the Test Center, RFNC-VNIITF will become a unique organization not only in the country, but also in the world, possessing the entire set of competencies in the field of radiation testing,” Tkachev emphasized.
The state should respond to the issues of protecting the country's infrastructure from the impact of so-called electromagnetic factors, said Russian President Vladimir Putin in February this year at a meeting with young scientists awarded presidential prizes in science and innovation.
Electromagnetic factors of artificial origin include impulses that occur after a nuclear explosion, as well as as a result of the use of electromagnetic generators. In recent years, the world media have reported on ongoing work in various countries to create “electromagnetic weapons.” Electromagnetic factors of natural origin are, for example, powerful pulses as a result of the impact of solar plasma from flares on the Sun on the Earth's magnetosphere.
RFNC-VNIITF is one of the key enterprises of Rosatom's nuclear weapons complex. The main task of the Snezhinsky Nuclear Center is to solve scientific and technical problems related to ensuring and maintaining the reliability and safety of Russia's nuclear weapons. RFNC-VNIITF also solves problems in the nuclear power complex, nuclear medicine, supercomputers and computational technologies.