Current Research Projects

HP-MFA - Space demonstration of a high precision magnetometer front-end ASIC aboard the FORESAIL mission
One possible aspect to reduce costs of space exploration and hence allowing for more frequent missions is to reduce the spacecraft size and to bring required launch masses down.Scientific instruments for such missions do require more and more reductions in resource requirements, such as volume, mass and power while at the same time achieving at least the same performance as conventional instruments. Consequently, it is important that especially the instrument front ends and readout units undergo miniaturization.More than 15 years ago, the Space Research Institute (IWF) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences has started to develop a miniaturized front-end electronics based on an Applications Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) for the readout of magnetic field sensors. The electronics chip has thus been called Magnetometer Front-end ASIC (MFA). The MFA has been successfully flown on the NASA’s four satellite mission called Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and on ESA’s participation in the South Korean space weather satellite GEO-KOMPSAT-2A (GK-2A). For both missions (MMS was launched in 2015 and GK-2A in 2018) and in total six flight magnetometers, the MFA has been showing superior functionality and competitive performance compared to magnetometers with discretely built electronics. The drawbacks of the MFA as of today are its limited dynamic range, its only moderate radiation harness and the fact that the lifetime of the chip process has come to an end.This project shall be performed in a close cooperation between IWF ad the Institute of Electronics of the Graz University of Technology. It aims for (1) the development and test of a new generation magnetometer front-end ASIC based on a concept study, which was done within a precursor project, and (2) the space demonstration of the new MFA aboard a Finish CubeSat called FORESAIL, which shall enable a rapid technology uplift of the new development and moreover unique radiation belt investigations by IWF scientists.The success of this project will pave the way for the participation of the proposing institutions in ESA’s already selected Comet-Interceptor mission, for which low-resource electronics is mandatory because the second of in total two spacecraft is very much constrained in resources, nd a constellation mission with 32 satellites by NASA, that can only be realised with ASIC based electronics. Besides that, the next generation MFA is considered for various other space missions by the community, such as for NASA’s dual satellite OHMIC mission and the Chinese near-Earth asteroid and main-belt comet explorer. As a result, IWF will be able to keep and even further extend the high level of visibility and expertise in the field of magnetospheric and planetary research based on magnetic field data. For the Institute of Electronics of TUG, this project will be a perfect opportunity to enhance the expertise and competitiveness in the development of high-precision and radiation hard microelectronics.
Funding sources
  • Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH (FFG) , FFG
Start: 31.03.2020
NFS - Near field scan technology development
New scan technologies, especially immunity scan technologies, will be developed though this project. Improvement of existing scan technologies will be don e in addition to the development of new technologies.
Funding sources
  • Amber Precision Instruments
Start: 20.02.2020
METIS - MicroElectronics Training, Industry and Skills
Microelectronics are the brains of all modern services and products. With incredible processing power, they enable billions of computations per second and store vast data. Artificial Intelligence, smartphones, computers, cloud storage, automobiles, space travel and medical equipment all rely on microelectronics. To advance its competitiveness, the EU microelectronics sector needs to overcome severe skills shortages. In this light, METIS (MicroElectronics Training, Industry and Skills) brings a unique European partnership establishing a sustainable framework to: • analyse key global trends affecting the sector and provide strategic insights and foresights • anticipate emerging skills needs, identify jobs of the future, define related occupational profiles and monitor progress in the domain of human capital for microelectronics • develop a Sector Skills Strategy to support the global leadership of the EU microelectronics industry, establishing operational linkages between skills and the future of the sector • federate European synergies towards the needs of data-driven technologies such as artificial intelligence enabled by advanced microelectronics and its skills requirements • establish an EU Microelectronics Observatory & Skills Council • design and deliver a modular and blended curriculum, integrating work-based learning that uses OER • pave the way for the pan-European recognition and certification of innovative VET • use innovative tools such as industry mentoring to facilitate inter-generational transfer of knowledge in the sector • embed social (diversity & inclusion) and environmental sustainability (circular economy) issues and EU policy goals in workforce development
Funding sources
  • SEMI Europe
  • European Commission - Europäische Kommission, EU
External Partners
  • Technical University of Sofia
  • Silicon Saxony e. V.
  • Dresden Chip Academy - SBH Südost GmbH
  • WiTEC EU - European Association for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology
  • IAL Innovazione Apprendimento Lavoro Friuli Venezia Giulia s.r.l.
  • CIMEA - Centro Informazioni Mobilità Equivalenze Accademiche
  • Fast Track Into Information Ltd
  • Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge, USN
  • European Association of Career Guidance, EACG
  • SEMI Europe
  • Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem
Start: 31.12.2019
Robust SiC - Robust Multi-Channel Application Stress Concept for New High Power Semiconductor Technologies
Development of methods for component characterization in the circuit environment without test interruption during an application-oriented test.
Funding sources
  • Kompetenzzentrum Automobil- und Industrieelektronik GmbH, KAI
Start: 28.02.2019
SensorADC - Interference Resistant A/D Conversion
Development of a robust ADC for a bio medical sensor.
Funding sources
  • Infineon Technologies Austria AG
Start: 30.06.2018