How radio chips are made that can work in hell

Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), the University of Arkansas (USA) and the International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) are developing electronic devices designed to operate in the most extreme conditions. One of these projects is an all-terrain vehicle for exploring the surface of Venus, where the average daily temperature is approaching +500 ° C, and the surrounding atmosphere is filled with sulfuric acid vapors.

But space is far from the only place with such conditions. For example, the temperature inside a gas generator is about +1000 ° C. To check the condition of the turbine blades and other parts, it is necessary to completely shut down the unit for quite a long time, which leads to multi-million dollar losses for energy producers.

This problem could be solved by special sensors installed inside the turbine, with the help of which it would be possible to monitor its technical condition during operation. However, to do this, they must withstand a truly hellish hell - about +1000 ° C, and, being attached to the rotating blades, also a load of 14000 gf.

Scientists at the University of Arkansas are currently developing combustion chamber sensors that will become part of a computerized diesel engine efficiency monitoring system. They are also exploring the possibility of installing electronic devices on bit for oil drilling, where temperatures can reach +150 ° C.

The scientists chose gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) as materials for the manufacture of "extreme" electronics, which have good thermal conductivity and the ability to operate at high temperatures.

The first device was a mixer, developed by the team of Professor An Rusu from KTH and manufactured by specialists from the University of Arkansas, headed 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.