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Neutron induced soft errors in digital surveillance technology

Joint Programme on the Technical Development and Further Improvement of IAEA Safeguards between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the International Atomic Energy Agency. TASK C.33/A1191. This report is a reprint of a paper published in the proceedings of the 23rd ESARDA Annual Meeting
: Rosenstock, W.; Köble, T.; Metzger, S.; Lennartz, W.; Henschel, H.; Schoop, K.; Neumann, G.; Lange, S.; Richter, B.; Arlt, R.
: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie -BMWi-, Berlin; International Atomic Energy Agency -IAEA-, Wien; Forschungszentrum Jülich, Programmgruppe Systemforschung und Technologische Entwicklung

Euskirchen, 2001, 6 pp.
Reportnr.: JOPAG/05.01-PRG-321
Fraunhofer INT ()
neutron irradiation; single event upset (SEU); digital surveillance system; neutron effect; neutron generator; Dosimetrie

Neutrons may produce charged particles, which can affect modern electronic components. Depending on their energy, the recoils may generate sufficient electrical charges to change the logic state of a memory cell in DRAMs or SRAMs. The result will be a bit flip leading to software failures. Such failures are called single event upsets (SEU's) and have occured in digital image surveillance equipment operating unattended for safeguards purposes. It was possible to reproduce the SEU's in the laboratory using a neutron generator. By software like self checking of the program code and extending the watchdog regime the failure rate was reduced significantly. Details of the irradiation tests and the results will be presented.